BIO Series / Single Cell Drug Assays

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

FluidFM nano-injection directly into the cell

how it works

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 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.


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