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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

General Review Article

Application of Microfluidics in Single-cell Manipulation, Omics and Drug Development

Author(s): Aynur Abdulla, Nokuzola Maboyi and Xianting Ding*

Volume 28, Issue 40, 2021

Published on: 03 February, 2021

Page: [8433 - 8450] Pages: 18

DOI: 10.2174/0929867328666210203205641

Price: $65


Background: Cell heterogeneity exists among different tissues, even in the same type of cells. Cell heterogeneity leads to a difference in cell size, functions, biological activity, and for cancer cells it causes different drug responses and resistance. Meanwhile, microfluidics is a promising tool for single-cell research to reveal cell heterogeneity.

Methods: Through literature research conducted over the past ten years on microfluidics, we summarize and introduce the application of microfluidics in single-cell separation and manipulation, featuring techniques, such as acoustic manipulation, optical manipulation, single-cell trapping, and patterning, as well as single-cell omics including singlecell genomics, single-cell transcriptomics, single-cell proteome, single-cell metabolome, and drug development.

Results: Microfluidics is a flexible, precise tool, and it is easy to integrate with different functions. Firstly, it can be used as an important tool to separate rare but important cells according to the cell`s biological or physical properties. Secondly, microfluidics can provide the possibility of single-cell omics. Thirdly, microfluidics can be used in drug development, specifically in drug delivery and drug combination. Meanwhile, droplet microfluidics has gradually become the most powerful tool to encapsulate single-cells with other reagents for DNA, RNA, or protein analysis.

Conclusion: Microfluidics is a robust platform technology that is able to accomplish rare cell separation, efficient single-cell omics analysis and provide a platform for drug development and drug delivery.

Keywords: Microfluidics, single-cell manipulation, single-cell omics, drug development, protein analysis, cell separation.

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