Category: Automation and High-Throughput Technologies
Microinjection of exogenous material is a powerful tool to address many biological issues, from the fundamental understanding of intracellular processes to drug development. However, current technologies are usually time consuming, require laborious handling and are not very efficient both in terms of throughput and cell survival rate. This is also usually limited to large cells like oocytes.
FluidFM technology, a combination of atomic force microscopy and microfluidics, among other applications, has already been shown to be able to perform microinjection in a cell-context preservation and non-destructive manner. Here, we developed an automatized system, called the FluidFM BOT, which allows to perform FluidFM microinjection at higher throughput into adherent cells. We could inject up to 200 cells per hour with Lucifer Yellow dye. Interestingly, we could demonstrate the ability of the FluidFM technology to microinject various cell types in a cell-context preservation manner. We also show here the ability of the system to inject proteins – such as Cas9 protein – or RNA molecules.
Using the remarkable reproducibility in nanosyringe fabrication, we also present a protocol to precisely measure the injected volume: an important parameter for example when determining dose-response relationship. Moreover, the capacity to achieve non-destructive cytosolic extraction (already demonstrated with FluidFM technology on an AFM system) is now under investigation on the FluidFM BOT system aiming to higher throughput, reproducibility and integration in standard biolab workflows.
Preliminary results are shown demonstrating feasibility. In conclusion, the recently developed FluidFM BOT system offers biologists an entirely new approach to solve problems from drug development to genetic studies.
Martin Winter– Managing Director, Lab Automation Network, Tubingen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Lab Automation Network
Tubingen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Martin Winter is founder and CEO of Lab Automation Network. He studied chemistry at the RWTH Aachen and at the University of Constance, Germany. For his PhD thesis on automated combinatorial chemistry, he joined the University of Tübingen, Germany, in 1994. From 1998 to 2008, he was the CEO of accelab GmbH, a manufacturer of customized laboratory automation systems. In 2008, he founded Lab Automation Network and since then conducts lab automation projects for customers from a wide range of industries together with carefully selected suppliers and experts in the field of laboratory automation.