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Monday, January 13, 2014

Recent Advancements in Optofluidics-Based Single-cell Analysis: Optical On-Chip Cellular Manipulation, Treatment, and Property Detection

Nien-Tsu Huang, Hua-li Zhang, Meng-Ting Chung, Jung Hwan Seo and Katsuo Kurabayashi

Cellular analysis plays important roles in various biological applications, such as cell biology, drug development, and disease diagnosis. Conventional cellular analysis usually measures the average response from a whole cell group. However, the bulk measurement may cause misleading interpretations due to cell heterogeneity. Another problem is that current cellular analysis may not be able to differentiate various subsets of cell population, each exhibiting a different behavior than others. Single-cell analysis techniques are developed to analyze cellular properties, conditions, or functional responses in a large cell population at the individual cell level. Integrated optics with microfluidics platform provides a well-controlled microenvironment to precisely control single cell conditions and perform non-invasive high-throughput analysis. This paper reviews recent developments of optofluidics technology for various optics-based single-cell analyses, which involve single cell manipulation, treatment, and property detection. Finally, we provide our views on the future development of integrated optics with microfluidics for single-cell analysis and discuss potential challenges and opportunities of this emerging research field in biological applications.

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