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We present a new method for the distinct specific chemical stimulation of single cells and small cell clusters within their natural environment. By single-drop release of chemical agents with droplets in size of typical cell diameters (d <30 μm) on-demand micro gradients can be generated for the specific manipulation of single cells. A single channel and a double channel agent release cartridge with integrated fluidic structures and integrated agent reservoirs are shown, tested, and compared in this publication. The single channel setup features a fluidic structure fabricated by anisotropic etching of silicon. To allow for simultaneous release of different agents even though maintaining the same device size, the second type comprises a double channel fluidic structure, fabricated by photolithographic patterning of TMMF. Dispensed droplet volumes are V = 15 pl and V = 10 pl for the silicon and the TMMF based setups, respectively. Utilizing the agent release cartridges, the application in biological assays was demonstrated by hormone-stimulated premature bud formation in Physcomitrella patens and the individual staining of one single L 929 cell within a confluent grown cell culture.


N Wangler, M Welsche, M Blazek, M Blessing, M Vervliet-Scheebaum, R Reski, C Müller, H Reinecke, J Steigert, G Roth, R Zengerle, N Paust. Bubble Jet agent release cartridge for chemical single cell stimulation. Biomedical microdevices. 2013 Feb;15(1):1-8

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PMID: 22833153

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