BIO Series / Single Cell Drug Assays


Deliver any drug into a cell, quantify the dose and study its effects at single cell level.

Lucifer yellow injected into CHO-K1 cells with the FluidFM Bio-INJECT&CHECK.

Lucifer yellow injected into CHO-K1 cells with the FluidFM QUANT.

Understanding the response of cells to a drug is crucial for determining its safety and its potential uses. However, the majority of the in vitro experiments are neither capable to know with precision which is the amount absorbed by a single cell nor which is the real intracellular concentration associated to a specific effect.

The FluidFM QUANT system allows to inject a desired drug selectively into specific cells and to follow its response within the cell culture. With the integrated Volume Calculator feature, measure the amount delivered into a specific cell and establish a direct relation between a drug concentration and its effects. 

Targeted intracellular delivery

Directly inject selectively into nucleus or cytoplasm


Quantify femtoliter of injected volumes

Cell friendly

High viability (> 95%)

Fast & easy

Process hundreds of cells/hour with intuitive software


The drug can selectively be delivered into the cytoplasm or directly into the nucleus. Process hundreds of cells/hour. Select the targeted cells per mouse click on the screen. After selection, the system autonomously injects into the selected cells.

When co-injected with a fluorescent marker, use our software-integrated Volume Calculator to precisely quantify how many femtoliters of the drug have been injected into each cell. The injected volume will differ from one cell to another even when keeping the same parameters for injection. Even within the same cell type, every single cell presents different physical properties, such as a specific cell volume or viscoelastic properties. With our QUANT system, you can obtain direct dose-response correlations at single cell level. 

Examples for volume quantification:

Hepatocytes injected with Lucifer Yellow 

CHO cells injected with Lucifer Yellow
Volume measurement of Lucifer Yellow injected into single CHO cells (n=30). Cells were first injected and then the injected volume for each cell was specifically calculated.  

Select observation conditions tailored to your compounds: samples can be observed with 3 different fluorescent filters. Our software records the coordinates of the injected cells and therefore allows long-term observation with the desired settings (fluorescence filter, exposure time etc.).

Our QUANT system allows to inject compounds with different properties and densities. 

We have successfully injected into various cell lines, from the most common ones (HeLa, CHO) to more sensitive ones (neurons, cardiomyocytes). Find the full list here.

Only 1 µl of your drug solution is required to inject thousands of cells.

The tiny aperture of the FluidFM nanosyringe (600 nm) and its smoothly controlled movement lead to a cell viability over 95%.

FluidFM nano-injection directly into the cell


Through the microfluidic channel inside a FluidFM probe, drug solutions can be dispensed through a sub-micrometer aperture at the tip of a cantilever. The sensitive force feedback system provides a reliable distinction between gentle contact with cell membranes and perforation, making it possible to inject directly into single cells and even selectively choose the nucleus or cytoplasm to be injected. Check here the video explaining the working principle of FluidFM nano-injection.

The specific probe used for the direct drug injection into a cell is our FluidFM nanosyringe. It enables injection into single cells without compromising cell viability. The very sharp apex and the around 600 nm aperture at the front side of the pyramidal tip enable gentle injection and allow to work with compounds with several molecular weights and densities.

For more information on the FluidFM technology, please see here.

FluidFM nanosyringe aperture
FluidFM nano-injection directly into the cell

Volume Calculator

Our software-integrated Volume Calculator can precisely quantify the volume injected into each cell. Working with fluorescent compounds, the microfabricated FluidFM nanosyringe serves as a precise reference for calculating the injected volume. The inherent manufacturing precision and the constant dimensions of the FluidFM nanosyringe and its inner channel make it possible for the FluidFM nanosyringe to provide a reference fluorescence intensity per femtoliter. After injection, the fluorescence intensity of each cell is compared to this reference intensity, allowing you to calculate precisely the injected volume for each injected cell.


Request a quotation.