DEPArray™: a novel platform to identify, isolate and collect very rare cells

Pim van der Aar1, Manuela Banzi2
1Dync B.V., Netherlands, The; 2Silicon Biosystems SpA

The DEPArray A300K system, uses a microelectronic chip integrating an array of 307,200 tiny electrodes, implementing up to 76,800 moving dielectrophoretic-cages for software-controlled cell sorting and manipulation. The chip is embedded in a microfluidic disposable cartridge enabling multiple recoveries of individual or group of cells, as well as manipulation of cells and/or microbeads for cell biology experiments.
Cells injected in the chip are trapped in an array of field cages. Images are then acquired, and cell selected for sorting or manipulation with the following unique features:
– sort by morphological parameters such as shape, nucleus to cytoplasm ratio, fluorophores co-localization, thanks to image based selection
– no contamination from spurious events verifying images associated to cells selected from the scatter plot or histogram, including up to 5 fluorescence channels and bright-field
– no need for a-priori thresholds, pick-up only best cells available in the sample
– sort specific rare-cells, based on relative fluorescence parameters combined with morphology
– sort cells from a suspension where the total cell count is extremely low (0-100,000)
DEPArray is compatible with PBS and culture media. This allows one to manage live cells, in physiological conditions, without the need for special low-conductivity buffers.
With respect to other cell manipulation techniques such as optical tweezers, DEPArray™ has the key advantage that
1) cells need not to be in the field of view of the microscope to be manipulated
2) a massive amount of cells can be trapped and managed step-by-step, deterministically, under software control
These advantages translate in a whole new world of possibilities beyond sorting, such as for example
– to run experiment of cell-cell interaction with exquisite control on timing and parallelism of the interactions, or
– to stimulate cell receptors with functionalized microbeads, in a controlled way

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