Select which cell you want –
place it where you want.
Easy & cell-friendly isolation for suspension & adherent cells.
Select a specific cell by mouse click on the screen.
The selected cell is being picked up
Select a new well, dish or other containers.
Release your cell.
Expand selected single cell into a monoclonal line.
The ideal method to select the cell of your choice for downstream analysis
Pick the desired cell directly from the culture, with minimal analyte dilution, and transfer it to the downstream analysis step you need. Perform for example NGS sequencing, assays, protein chips, ESI MS, Maldi TOF and NMR, or expand the cell into a monoclonal culture. FluidFM isolation is particularly powerful for adherent and suspension cells that are precious and/or rare.
Advantages of a bottom-up approach vs. conventional cell sorting techniques
Start with the needle. No need to find it in the haystack.
Minimal forces are applied to a cell ensuring minimal stress and leading to cell viability of over 95%.
Cells can be individually selected, by optically detectable features (phenotype).
Select a specific cell directly from a culture. Have evidence and traceability of the very selected cell for the monoclonality report.
Select source, select destination. Stand back.
Take advantage of the fully integrated motorized stages and microscope. Select the cells of interest and the destination, then let the system autonomously run the the isolation or sorting process.
Seed and expand selected cells.
Cells remain viable and grow unperturbed.
Single selected cells can be transferred by mouse click into a new well and each is expanded into a colony with minimal cellular stress. In this way, you can be certain that each colony originates from one specific single cell.
Cells of interest can be selected based on the expression of a fluorescent marker or simply based on morphological properties.
1. Isolated CHO cells deposited in a 3x3 array into a new wellplate, imaged just after isolation.
2. 24h after isolation.
3. 48h after isolation. Cell growth rate is not impacted by the FluidFM isolation procedure.
Expansion of an isolated CHO cell
Isolated CHO cell growing in a CO2 independent medium and 37°C. The cell was isolated using a FluidFM micropipette with 4 µm aperture. After isolation, the cell was imaged under bright field conditions every 15 minutes directly with the FluidFM BOT BIO Series.
Suspension or adherent cells
Both suspension and adherent cells can directly be picked up from a cell culture and released in a selected container. For adherent cell cultures, trypsin is dispensed locally via the same probe to dissociate specific cells from the substrate.
Local trypsinization: Additional integrated step for adherent cells.
Isolation: Picking the cell & placing it into a new well.
Gateway to single cell omics
- Identify rare cells by their phenotype or fluorescent signal.
- Sort them into other wells (individually or in pools).
- Interface to further downstream analysis at a single cell level.
For cells and other micro-organisms and objects
Adherent & suspension cells
Compatible with almost any cell type such as iPSC, mouse or human ESC or primary hepatocytes.
When working with adherent cells, locally deliver trypsin via the same probe to dissociate specific cells from the substrate where they are cultured.
Be it microscopic algae, bacteria, fungi or protozoa; FluidFM can address organisms from a few nanometers to dozens of micrometers in size.
Image courtesy E. Potthoff, ETH Zurich.
FluidFM addresses the largest range of colloid dimensions - from 500 nm up to 100 µm.
Using focused ion beam, special FluidFM probes can be specifically modified so that even smaller or larger particles can potentially be manipulated.
FluidFM's suitability to isolate single cells - whether suspension or adherent, whether mammalian or microbial - has been published:
O. Guillaume-Gentil, T. Zambelli & J.A. Vorholt. Isolation of single mammalian cells from adherent cultures by fluidic force microscopy. Lab on a chip, 2014.
P. Stiefel, T. Zambelli & J.A. Vorholt. Isolation of optically targeted single bacteria by application of fluidic force microscopy to aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs from the phyllosphere. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2013.
P. Dörig, P. Stiefel, et al. Force-controlled spatial manipulation of viable mammalian cells and micro-organisms by means of FluidFM technology. Applied Physics Letters, 2010.
Principle: FluidFM pick & place
A gentle negative pressure through the microfluidic channel of a FluidFM probe allows to pick up and hold a cell. After moving to the new position, the cell is released with a short positive pressure pulse.
The specific probe used for the cell isolation workflow is our FluidFM micropipette with an aperture between 2 and 8 µm. The application of our special anti-fouling coating prevents the cell and dirt to bind on the probe surface, ensuring smooth immobilization and release of the cell.
When working with adherent cells, the probe can also be filled with highly concentrated trypsin, so that the enzyme can be released on top of the selected cell enabling its detachment from the substrate.
FluidFM micropipette with a 4 µm aperture.
Designed for pharmacologists and molecular biologists, the FluidFM system is highly automated, easy to use and features a fully enclosing incubator. The temperature-controlled incubator is custom-designed and includes a HEPA filter system. A CO2 control add-on is available upon request. Benefit from simple preparation as well as extensive automation and data management.
Left: FluidFM system without incubator. Right: Custom-designed incubator.
Software: User-friendly & intuitive
When working with adherent cells: Point and click to shower the targeted cells with highly concentrated trypsin, previously loaded into the FluidFM micropipette, to detach them prior to displacing.
Select the targeted and detached cells as well as the target well by simple point and click on the screen.
Follow the instructions suggested by the software
Apply our recommended procedures to maximize the outcome of the experiment
Tailor isolation parameters to suit your cell type by changing a few parameters (pressure, approach speed, etc.)
Instruct the system to take the required images with predefined settings with just a few clicks. All relevant data is stored together with the cell's coordinates.
Left: Assisted local trypsinization. Middle: Point-and-click cell selection. Right: Selection of isolation parameters
Webinar with a live demo:
FluidFM cell isolation
Get to know FluidFM as a tool for single cell research.
Understand how FluidFM cell isolation works and how it empowers single cell research.
Learn which applications can benefit from FluidFM cell isolation.