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Polymer microfluidic device for high-throughput single-cell encapsulation, lysis, and biological assay

  • Author(s): Brackbill, Timothy Peter
  • Advisor(s): Pisano, Albert P
  • et al.
Abstract

Single cell analysis is the present and future of biological research. It's be-

coming clear that sub-populations of cells within a larger group can often be

the culprit for diseases or malfunctions. In this work we aim to provide a tool

that allows biological researchers to better analyze single cells within cell pop-

ulations by removing the barrier to observing analytes contained within the

cell's membrane. By providing physical access to the intracellular compounds

in a single cell, we can analyze individual cells for levels of analytes that were

previously only available through bulk measurements of a lysed cell popula-

tion. The technique is similar to flow cytometry, but we will use droplets as a

physical analog to cells in a flow cytometer-type configuration. This distinc-

tion allows for lysis of a single cell within a droplet and prevents diffusion of

internal components outside of the droplet's barrier. Analysis of analyte lev-

els is accomplished with fluorescence labeling and laser based querying of the

fluorescence concentration. This work is accomplished through use of a plastic

microfluidic network.

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