Lab on a Particle: Democratizing Single-Cell Secretion Assays

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speaker
  • PhD Candidate, Bioengineering, University of California, Los Angeles, Co-Founder and President, Partillion Bioscience
    Biography
      Joseph (Joe) de Rutte, received his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2014 and 2016. He is currently a PhD Candidate in the department of Bioengineering at the University of California, Los Angeles where he is developing microparticle technologies for a range of applications including regenerative medicine, single-cell analysis, and diagnostics. Recently he has pioneered the use of structured microparticles to create sub-nanoliter compartments for performing quantitative assays with standard lab infrastructure. In recognition of the impact of his "Lab on a Particle" work, he has been awarded the 2020 Society of Laboratory Automation and Screening Innovation Award. Recently he co-founded and is President of Partillion Bioscience, which aims to commercialize his PhD work in an effort to empower researchers to advance the next generation of diagnostics and therapeutics.

    Abstract

    Techniques to analyze and sort single cells based on secreted products have the potential to transform our understanding of cellular biology as well as accelerate the development of next generation cell and antibody therapies. However, secretions are rapidly transported away from cells, such that specialized equipment and expertise has been required to compartmentalize cells and capture their secretions. In this presentation I will explain how cavity-containing hydrogel microparticles can be leveraged to perform functional single-cell secretion analysis and sorting in high-throughput using only commonly accessible lab infrastructure. These microparticles act as a solid support which facilitates cell attachment, templates formation of uniform sub-nanoliter aqueous compartments which prevent cross-talk between cells, and captures secreted proteins. Using this “lab on a particle” platform, we demonstrate high-throughput analysis and sorting of Chinese Hamster Ovary cells based on their relative production of human IgG using commercially available flow sorters. We successfully screen over 100,000 cells in a single day and isolate a subpopulation of cells from a production grade cell line that maintained ~50% increased levels of antibody production after 2 weeks of culture. Microparticles can be fabricated in bulk and are easily distributed and used, democratizing access to high-throughput functional cell screening. Ultimately, we believe the ability to rapidly create millions of uniform compartments using lab on a particle technology can extend across fields, providing a fundamental tool that can enable any researcher to perform single-cell and single-molecule assays in the future.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Define current approaches to single-cell secretion analysis and identify limitations

    2. Explain how microparticles can be leveraged to perform assays with standard lab equipment


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