Friday, June 14, 2013

Cell manipulation tool with combined microwell array and optical tweezers for cell isolation and deposition

Xiaolin Wang, Xue Gou, Shuxun Chen, Xiao Yan and Dong Sun
Isolation from rare cells and deposition of sorted cells with high accuracy for further study are critical to a wide range of biomedical applications. In the current paper, we report an automated cell manipulation tool with combined optical tweezers and a uniquely designed microwell array, which functions for recognition, isolation, assembly, transportation and deposition of the interesting cells. The microwell array allows the passive hydrodynamic docking of cells, while offering the opportunity to inspect the interesting cell phenotypes with high spatio-temporal resolution based on the flexible image processing technique. In addition, dynamic and parallel cell manipulation in three dimensions can realize the target cell levitation from microwell and pattern assembly with multiple optical traps. Integrated with the programmed motorized stage, the optically levitated and assembled cells can be transported and deposited to the predefined microenvironment, so the tool can facilitate the integration of other on-chip functionalities for further study without removing these isolated cells from the chip. Experiments on human embryonic stem cells and yeast cells are performed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed cell manipulation tool. Besides the application to cell isolation and deposition, three other biological applications with this tool are also presented.
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