Manipulating single biological objects is a major unmet challenge of biomedicine. Herein, we describe a lab-on-a-chip platform based on dielectrophoresis (DEP). The DEParray is a prototypal version consisting of 320 × 320 arrayed electrodes generating >10 000 spherical DEP cages. It allows the capture and software-guided movement to predetermined spatial coordinates of single biological objects. With the DEParray we demonstrate (a) forced interaction between a single, preselected target cell and a programmable number of either microspheres or natural killer (NK) cells, (b) on-chip immunophenotypic discrimination of individual cells based on differential rosetting with microspheres functionalized with monoclonal antibodies to an inhibitory NK cell ligand (HLA-G), (c) on-chip, real-time (few minutes) assessment of immune lysis by either visual inspection or semiautomated, time-lapse reading of a fluorescent dye released from NK cell-sensitive targets, and (d) manipulation and immunophenotyping with limiting amounts (about 500) cells. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing a DEP-based lab-on-a-chip platform for the quick, arrayed, software-guided binding of individually moved biological objects, the targeting of single cells with microspheres, and the real-time characterization of immunophenotypes. The DEParray candidates as a discovery tool for novel cell:cell interactions with no prior (immuno)phenotypic knowledge.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry