Chemical operations on a living single cell by open microfluidics for wound repair studies and organelle transport analysis
Single cells are increasingly recognized to be capable of wound repair that is important for our mechanistic understanding of cell biology. The lack of flexible, facile, and friendly subcellular treatment methods has hindered single-cell wound repair studies and organelle transport analyses. Here we report a laminar flow based approach, we call it fluid cell knife (Fluid CK), that is capable of precisely cutting off or treating a portion of a single cell from its remaining portion in its original adherent state. Local operations on portions of a living single cell in its adherent culture state were applied to various types of cells. Temporal wound repair was successfully observed. Moreover, we successfully stained portions of a living single cell to measure the organelle transport speed (mitochondria as a model) inside a cell. This technique opens up new avenues for cellular wound repair and subcellular behavior analyses.