Recent advancements in optofluidics-based single-cell analysis: optical on-chip cellular manipulation, treatment, and property detection
Cellular analysis plays important roles in various biological applications, such as cell biology, drug development, and disease diagnosis. Conventional cellular analysis usually measures the average response from a whole cell group. However, bulk measurements may cause misleading interpretations due to cell heterogeneity. Another problem is that current cellular analysis may not be able to differentiate various subsets of cell populations, each exhibiting a different behavior than the others. Single-cell analysis techniques are developed to analyze cellular properties, conditions, or functional responses in a large cell population at the individual cell level. Integrating optics with microfluidic platforms provides a well-controlled microenvironment to precisely control single cell conditions and perform non-invasive high-throughput analysis. This paper reviews recent developments in optofluidic technologies for various optics-based single-cell analyses, which involve single cell manipulation, treatment, and property detection. Finally, we provide our views on the future development of integrated optics with microfluidics for single-cell analysis and discuss potential challenges and opportunities of this emerging research field in biological applications.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Optofluidics-2013