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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 929163, 8 pages
Research Article

Parameter Screening in Microfluidics Based Hydrodynamic Single-Cell Trapping

1State Key Laboratory of Transducer Technology, Institute of Electronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
2Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 3G9

Received 11 March 2014; Accepted 4 May 2014; Published 9 June 2014

Academic Editor: Ya Cheng

Copyright © 2014 B. Deng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Microfluidic cell-based arraying technology is widely used in the field of single-cell analysis. However, among developed devices, there is a compromise between cellular loading efficiencies and trapped cell densities, which deserves further analysis and optimization. To address this issue, the cell trapping efficiency of a microfluidic device with two parallel micro channels interconnected with cellular trapping sites was studied in this paper. By regulating channel inlet and outlet status, the microfluidic trapping structure can mimic key functioning units of previously reported devices. Numerical simulations were used to model this cellular trapping structure, quantifying the effects of channel on/off status and trapping structure geometries on the cellular trapping efficiency. Furthermore, the microfluidic device was fabricated based on conventional microfabrication and the cellular trapping efficiency was quantified in experiments. Experimental results showed that, besides geometry parameters, cellular travelling velocities and sizes also affected the single-cell trapping efficiency. By fine tuning parameters, more than 95% of trapping sites were taken by individual cells. This study may lay foundation in further studies of single-cell positioning in microfluidics and push forward the study of single-cell analysis.