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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(8), 16897-16919; doi:10.3390/ijms160816897

Technologies for Single-Cell Isolation

Laboratory for MEMS Applications, IMTEK–Department of Microsystems Engineering, University of Freiburg, Georges-Koehler-Allee 103, Freiburg 79110, Germany
Cytena GmbH, Georges-Koehler-Allee 103, Freiburg 79110, Germany
Hahn-Schickard, Georges-Koehler-Allee 103, Freiburg 79110, Germany
BIOSS–Centre for Biological Signalling Studies, University of Freiburg, Freiburg 79110, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Fan-Gang Tseng
Received: 29 May 2015 / Revised: 6 July 2015 / Accepted: 14 July 2015 / Published: 24 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Single Cell Analysis in Biotechnology and Systems Biology)
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The handling of single cells is of great importance in applications such as cell line development or single-cell analysis, e.g., for cancer research or for emerging diagnostic methods. This review provides an overview of technologies that are currently used or in development to isolate single cells for subsequent single-cell analysis. Data from a dedicated online market survey conducted to identify the most relevant technologies, presented here for the first time, shows that FACS (fluorescence activated cell sorting) respectively Flow cytometry (33% usage), laser microdissection (17%), manual cell picking (17%), random seeding/dilution (15%), and microfluidics/lab-on-a-chip devices (12%) are currently the most frequently used technologies. These most prominent technologies are described in detail and key performance factors are discussed. The survey data indicates a further increasing interest in single-cell isolation tools for the coming years. Additionally, a worldwide patent search was performed to screen for emerging technologies that might become relevant in the future. In total 179 patents were found, out of which 25 were evaluated by screening the title and abstract to be relevant to the field. View Full-Text
Keywords: single-cell analysis; single-cell handling; single-cell separation; single-cell technologies; flow cytometry; laser microdissection; limiting dilution; microfluidics single-cell analysis; single-cell handling; single-cell separation; single-cell technologies; flow cytometry; laser microdissection; limiting dilution; microfluidics

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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gross, A.; Schoendube, J.; Zimmermann, S.; Steeb, M.; Zengerle, R.; Koltay, P. Technologies for Single-Cell Isolation. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 16897-16919.

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