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Lab Chip. 2014 Aug 7;14(15):2783-90. doi: 10.1039/c4lc00303a. Epub 2014 Jun 5.

Deformability-based microfluidic cell pairing and fusion.

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Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 36-824, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


We present a microfluidic cell pairing device capable of sequential trapping and pairing of hundreds of cells using passive hydrodynamics and flow-induced deformation. We describe the design and operation principles of our device and show its applicability for cell fusion. Using our device, we achieved both homotypic and heterotypic cell pairing, demonstrating efficiencies up to 80%. The platform is compatible with fusion protocols based on biological, chemical and physical stimuli with fusion yields up to 95%. Our device further permits its disconnection from the fluidic hardware enabling its transportation for imaging and culture while maintaining cell registration on chip. Our design principles and cell trapping technique can readily be applied for different cell types and can be extended to trap and fuse multiple (>2) cell partners as demonstrated by our preliminary experiments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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