Automated microfluidic chromatin immunoprecipitation from 2,000 cells

Lab Chip. 2009 May 21;9(10):1365-70. doi: 10.1039/b819648f. Epub 2009 Feb 27.


Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) is a powerful assay used to probe DNA-protein interactions. Traditional methods of implementing this assay are lengthy, cumbersome and require a large number of cells, making it difficult to study rare cell types such as certain cancer and stem cells. We have designed a microfluidic device to perform sensitive ChIP analysis on low cell numbers in a rapid, automated fashion while preserving the specificity of the assay. Comparing ChIP results for two modified histone protein targets, we showed our automated microfluidic ChIP (AutoChIP) from 2,000 cells to be comparable to that of conventional ChIP methods using 50,000-500,000 cells. This technology may provide a solution to the need for a high sensitivity, rapid, and automated ChIP assay, and in doing so facilitate the use of ChIP for many interesting and valuable applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Automation
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation* / instrumentation
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation* / methods
  • Equipment Design
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Histones / chemistry
  • Mice
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques* / instrumentation
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques* / methods


  • Histones