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Lab Chip. 2005 Dec;5(12):1399-403. Epub 2005 Oct 17.

On chip single-cell separation and immobilization using optical tweezers and thermosensitive hydrogel.

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  • 1Department of Micro-Nano Systems Engineering, Nagoya University, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, 464-8603, Japan.


A novel approach appropriate for rapid separation and immobilization of a single cell by concomitantly utilizing laser manipulation and locally thermosensitive hydrogelation is proposed in this paper. We employed a single laser beam as optical tweezers for separating a target cell and locating it adjacent to a fabricated, transparent micro heater. Simultaneously, the target cell is immobilized or partially entrapped by heating the thermosensitive hydrogel with the micro heater. The state of the thermosensitive hydrogel can be switched from sol to gel and gel to sol by controlling the temperature through heating and cooling by the micro heater. After other unwanted cells are removed by the high-speed cleaning flow in the microchannel, the entrapped cell is successfully isolated. It is possible to collect the immobilized target cell for analysis or culture by switching off the micro heater and releasing the cell from the entrapment. We demonstrated that the proposed approach is feasible for rapid manipulation, immobilization, cleaning, isolation and extraction of a single cell. The experimental results are shown here.

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