Hand-held and integrated single-cell pipettes
Successful single-cell isolation is a primary step for subsequent chemical and biological analyses of single cells. Conventional single-cell isolation methods often encounter operational complexity, limited efficiency, deterioration of cell viability, incompetence in the isolation of a single-cell into nanoliter liquid, and/or inability to select single adherent cells with specific phenotypes. Here, we develop a hand-held single-cell pipet (hSCP) that is rapid, operationally simple, highly efficient, and inexpensive for unbiased isolation of single viable suspended cells directly from submicroliter cell suspensions into nanoliter droplets without the assistance of any additional equipment. An integrated SCP (iSCP) has also been developed for selective isolation of single suspended and adherent cells according to the fluorescence imaging and morphological features. The isolated single cells can be conveniently transferred into standard 96-/384-well plates, Petri dishes, or vials for cloning, PCR, and other single-cell biochemical assays.