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Single cell culture is a method of culturing isolated single cells to obtain single-cell-derived cell clones for both basic research and therapeutic applications.

Using Microfluidic Techniques for Single Cell Culture

Microfluidics has emerged as a useful tool for single cell culture applications.

Growing cells in microfluidic devices have several advantages over traditional Petri dishes and well plates:

  • The microdevices can more precisely manipulate single cells and control the cell culture conditions.
  • The miniaturized devices can increase the throughput and reduce experiments' reagent/cell consumption due to their small size.
  • Microfluidic devices can be integrated with microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology to form lab-on-a-chip devices that combine single cell culture and analysis in a single device.

Workflow of Stable Cell Line Development Service (Single Cell Clone)

1. Cell Cluster Dissociation

  • Enzymatic chemicals such as trypsin, elastase, and hyaluronidase.
  • Mechanical methods include shaking, pipetting, vortexing, and sonication.
  • Microfluidic techniques.

Microfluidic dissociation device.Fig.1 Microfluidic dissociation device. (Qiu, 2016)

2. Single Cell Isolation

3. Culture Single Cell in Microfluidic Chips

Below is the list of microfluidic techniques used for isolation and single cell culture for obtaining single cell clones.

Table.1 Microfluidic techniques for single cell culture. (Yeh, 2019)

Isolation Approaches Culture Condition Clonal Transfer Major Advantage Major Disadvantage
Microwells Compartmental wells Yes Easy manipulation; High throughput; Easy fabrication Pooled colonies
Microtable/Microplallets Compartmental pallets, tables Yes High efficiency in obtaining colonies Special laser equipment requirement
Microlateral chambers Compartmental chambers No High throughput Unable to transfer colonies; Low single cell efficiency
Cell traps Compartmental chambers No High throughput; High single cell efficiency; Automation Unable to transfer colonies; Difficult fabrication
Microvalves Individual chambers under electronic control Yes Controllable microenvironments Difficult fabrication; Complex setting for experiments

Microfluidic devices for isolating and culturing single cells.Fig.2 Microfluidic devices for isolating and culturing single cells. (Yeh, 2019)

Creative Biolabs provides single cell line development service (single cell clone) from cell cluster dissociation to culturing single cell and obtaining single cell clone, helping you to study the metabolic, migration, and differentiation heterogeneity in cell populations. If you have any requirements, please feel free to contact us for further communication about your project.


  1. Qiu, X.L.; et al. Microfluidic device for mechanical dissociation of cancer cell aggregates into single cell. Lab Chip. 2015, 15(1): 339-350.
  2. Yeh, C.F.; Hsu, C.H. Microfluidic techniques for single-cell culture. Single-Cell Omics. 2019, 1: 137-151.
! ! For Research Use Only. Not for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.