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Using the µEncapsulator 1 to Capture Single Cells in Droplets with Beads

Conventional tools in biology homogenise populations of cells, which means that in many processes, it is still not possible to observe and analyse crucial biological events (e.g., in immune responses, in complex tissues such as neural tissues, or events in tumourigenesis, metastasis, etc.).

By capturing single cells in microfluidic droplets, it is possible to do high throughput single cell analysis, which opens up these processes to study.

However, while proof-of-principle demonstrations of high throughput analysis have been published, microfluidic technology is far from mature. It often requires substantial multidisciplinary prowess (engineering, programming, biochemistry, microfluidics) to build a system, and to even get a proof-of-principle result. Getting a system running in a biology lab, and getting results from it day-in-day-out, may be impractical.

In order to make high throughput single cell analysis available to biologists, Dolomite has developed the µEncapsulator 1, which greatly simplifies capturing single cells in microfluidic droplets. If temperature controlled is desired, e.g., to chill samples, or form agarose droplets, the µEncapsulator can be mounted on Dolomite’s Temperature Control Unit, the TCU100.

We illustrate the usefulness of the µEncapsulator 1 by demonstrating the simple, high throughput capture of lymphocytes in 50 m droplets.