Programmable interactions of functionalized single bioparticles in a dielectrophoresis-based microarray chip

Melanie Abonnenc, Nicoloì Manaresi, Monica Borgatti, Gianni Medoro, Enrica Fabbri, Aldo Romani, Luigi Altomare, Marco Tartagni, Roberta Rizzo, Olavio Baricordi, Elisa Tremante, Elisa Lo Monaco, Patrizio Giacomini, Roberto Guerrieri, Roberto Gambari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8219-8224
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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