Dr. Guillaume-Gentil from the Lab of Prof. Julia Vorholt (IMB, ETH Zurich) demonstrated how FluidFM technology can be used to selectively detach single cells out of a confluent cell layer. With a localized trypsin shower the cell is separated from its neighbors and then picked up by the FluidFM probe.
A simplified protocol could be applied to isolate suspended cells. This protocol also works for micro-organisms such as yeast or bacteria and is described in the following publication:
Guillaume-Gentil, O., Zambelli, T., & Vorholt, J. A. (2014). Isolation of single mammalian cells from adherent cultures by fluidic force microscopy. Lab on a Chip, 14(2), 402–414.