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3+ FluidFM Core Methods
FluidFM technology enables the below three methods that are the key to many different applications.
Precise dispensing of liquids
Intra-cellular injection & extraction
Pick & place at the micro scale
Besides the main applications of gene engineering, drug assays and cell isolation, researchers have explored and proved tens of novel FluidFM applications in the fields of material science, life science and biophysics.
Since its invention in 2009, FluidFM facilitates cutting-edge research results in life sciences, biophysics and mechanobiology. Explore the 70+ publications.
Explore what can be done with the FluidFM BIO Series:
Precise dispensing of liquids. In liquid and dry environments.
2.5D printing: Spotting, lines and custom patterns
From µm to cm in scale
For any viscosities from water to honey
Local dispensing of chemicals and other particles
Precisely deposit thousand spots of any solution. Ideal for developing and testing protein-based assays.
Print lines with widths from tens of micrometers down to hundreds of nanometers.
Nano-printing of custom patterns
Print custom patterns from file.
Image: Nanolithography of DAPI on DNA coated glass surface.
Place virions one-by-one with pin-point accuracy onto single cells.
J. Zhang, H. Yu, B. Harris, et al. New Means to Control Molecular Assembly. ACS Publications, 2020.
A. Saftics, B. Türk, et al. Biomimetic dextran-based hydrogel layers for cell micropatterning over large areas using the FluidFM BOT technology. Langmuir, 2019.
S. Mishra, Y. Lee & J. W. Park. Direct quantification of trace amounts of a chronic myeloid leukemia biomarker using locked nucleic acid capture probes. Analytical Chemistry, 2018.
M. J. Aebersold, H. Dermutz, et al. Local Chemical Stimulation of Neurons with the Fluidic Force Microscope (FluidFM). ChemPhysChem, 2017.
Intra-cellular injection and extraction.
Through the microfluidic channel inside a FluidFM probe, solutions can be dispensed or aspirated through a sub-micrometer aperture at the tip of a cantilever. Perform nano-injection experiments and measure the delivered volume with femtoliter precision or extract content directly form specific cells in a culture.
Single cell CRISPR delivery
A solution to CRISPR's delivery challenges: Place your complexes directly where they are required, in the nucleus. Direct intra-nuclear CRISPR delivery and bottom-up cell line development. Get a multiple knock-out clone in two weeks, with one instrument.
Single cell drug assays
Deliver compounds directly into a cell and quantify the injected volume with femtoliter precision. A suitable method for any compound and easy to use.
Single cell biopsy
Extract the content of individual cells directly in their native environment while preserving the cellular context and without affecting cell viability. The procedure is non-destructive and therefore makes it possible to perform cell biopsies from the same single cell over different time points.
Image: Nano-extraction of 1110 fL from a GFP-Hela cell cytoplasm.
O. Guillaume-Gentil, E. Potthoff, et al. Force-controlled fluidic injection into single cell nuclei. Small, 2013.
A. Meister, M. Gabi, et al. FluidFM: Combining atomic force microscopy and nanofluidics in an universal liquid delivery system for single cell applications and beyond. Nano Letters, 2009.
O. Guillaume-Gentil, T. Rey, et al. Single-Cell Mass Spectrometry of Metabolites Extracted from Live Cells by Fluidic Force Microscopy. Anal Chem, 2017
O. Guillaume-Gentil, R.V. Grindberg, et al. Tunable Single-Cell Extraction for Molecular Analyses. Cell, 2016.
Pick & place at the micro scale.
Reversibly immobilize cells and other objects by gentle application of suction force. A gentle negative pressure through the microfluidic channel of a FluidFM probe allows to pick up and hold a cell. Perform cell isolation or adhesion measurements.
Select a specific cell directly from a culture by mouse click. For suspended and adherent cells.
Choose the cell you want – place it where you want.
Create in-vitro neuron networks
Single cell co-culture for intra-cellular communication
Rare cells sorting
Gateway to single cell omics
Generate monoclonal cell cultures
Direct cell adhesion assays
Easily measure forces.
From confluent layers
100s of cells a day, compared to tens reached by conventional means
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.
M. Sztilkovics, T. Gerecsei, et al. Single-cell adhesion force kinetics of cell populations from combined label-free optical biosensor and robotic fluidic force microscopy. Scientific Reports, 2020.
A. Sancho, I. Vandersmissen, et al. A new strategy to measure intercellular adhesion forces in mature cell-cell contacts.Scientific Reports, 2017.
The right probe for each application
The sharp apex and the 600 nm aperture at the side of the pyramidal tip enable gentle probe insertion into a cell. Applying over- or under-pressure, you can inject or extract into or from the intra-cellular environment.
The FluidFM nanopipette features a 300 nm aperture at the top of the pyramidal tip. It is ideal for the precise dispensing of liquids for 2.5D patterning applications.
Monitor what happens
Integrated inverted microscope with 10, 20 and 40 x objectives by Olympus
Bright field and fluorescence imaging
We are here for your success
A team of scientists is dedicated to help you during the design and execution of FluidFM experiments.
The FluidFM BOT offered us the unique possibility to measure single cell adhesions directly on large area biosensor surfaces.
The other features - such as printing and live cell injections - also opened up many interesting new research directions in our lab.
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.