Droplet Microarray Based on Superhydrophobic-Superhydrophilic Patterns for Single Cell Analysis

Microarrays (Basel). 2016 Dec 9;5(4):28. doi: 10.3390/microarrays5040028.


Single-cell analysis provides fundamental information on individual cell response to different environmental cues and is a growing interest in cancer and stem cell research. However, current existing methods are still facing challenges in performing such analysis in a high-throughput manner whilst being cost-effective. Here we established the Droplet Microarray (DMA) as a miniaturized screening platform for high-throughput single-cell analysis. Using the method of limited dilution and varying cell density and seeding time, we optimized the distribution of single cells on the DMA. We established culturing conditions for single cells in individual droplets on DMA obtaining the survival of nearly 100% of single cells and doubling time of single cells comparable with that of cells cultured in bulk cell population using conventional methods. Our results demonstrate that the DMA is a suitable platform for single-cell analysis, which carries a number of advantages compared with existing technologies allowing for treatment, staining and spot-to-spot analysis of single cells over time using conventional analysis methods such as microscopy.

Keywords: Droplet Microarray; high-throughput screening; screening; single-cell analysis; superhydrophobic-superhydrophilic patterning.