Static droplet array for culturing single live adherent cells in an isolated chemical microenvironment

Amin Hassanzadeh-Barforoushi*, Andrew M. K. Law, Abbas Hejri, Mohsen Asadnia, Christopher J. Ormandy, David Gallego-Ortega, Majid Ebrahimi Warkiani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


We present here a new method to easily and reliably generate an array of hundreds of dispersed nanoliter-volume semi-droplets for single-cells culture and analysis. The liquid segmentation step occurs directly in indexed traps by a tweezer-like mechanism and is stabilized by spatial confinement. Unlike common droplet-based techniques, the semi-droplet wets its surrounding trap walls thus supporting the culturing of both adherent and non-adherent cells. To eliminate cross-droplet cell migration and chemical cross-talk each semi-droplet is separated from a nearby trap by an ∼80 pL air plug. The overall setup and injection procedure takes less than 10 minutes, is insensitive to fabrication defects and supports cell recovery for downstream analysis. The method offers a new approach to easily capture, image and culture single cells in a chemically isolated microenvironment as a preliminary step towards high-throughput single-cell assays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2156-2166
Number of pages11
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2018


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