New technology developed for single cell analysis

New technology developed for single cell analysis

The microfluidic single-cell electrorotational unit uses an electric field to probe the properties of the cell. Photo credit: Texas A&M Engineering

The ability to analyze the properties of individual cells is critical to a wide range of life science applications, from diagnosing disease and developing better therapeutics to characterizing pathogenic bacteria and developing cells for biomanufacturing applications. However, detailed analysis of individual cells is challenging, especially when it comes to the biophysical properties of a cell, due to large property differences between cells even in the same cell population, as well as the presence of rare cell types within a larger population.


To address this need, Dr. Arum Han, Texas Instruments Professor II in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, along with his graduate students and postdocs, developed new technology that can accurately analyze cell properties through the use of a single-cell electrorotational microfluidic device that uses an electric field to study the properties of the cell.

The technology works by using an electric field to first trap a single cell in a microfluidic device, followed by applying a rotating electric field to spin the trapped single cell, and then measuring the rate of rotation. By knowing the input electric field parameters and analyzing the rotation speed, an accurate analysis of the dielectric properties of a single cell becomes possible.

“By knowing how much force was applied and how fast the cell is rotating, you can extract many fundamental biophysical properties of cells,” Han said.

There have been previous efforts to achieve this, but this technology is the most accurate at measuring these properties simultaneously capturing a single cell because of its ability to apply a high-frequency electric field (up to 100 megahertz) and its use of an eight-electrode-pair design and apply a rotational force to the trapped cell.

The results of the research team are presented in Biomedical Microdevices.

This technology has been fully developed and applied to several different cell analysis applications. After successfully showing that the analysis can be performed accurately on one cell at a time, Yuwen Li, a graduate student in Han’s lab and lead author of the paper, is now leading efforts to advance the technology so that it can be performed at a much higher speed and against many cells at the same time.


Development of a 3D particle model for individual particles in battery electrodes


More information:
Yuwen Li et al, Measuring the Dielectric Properties of Cells at Single Cell Resolution Using Electrorotation, Biomedical Microdevices (2022). DOI: 10.1007/s10544-022-00621-3

Provided by Texas A&M University College of Engineering

Citation: New Technology Developed for Single Cell Analysis (2022, October 25), retrieved October 25, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-10-technology-single-cell-analysis.html

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