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In their scientific article report, Kashyap et al. from the team of Dr. Govind Kaigala at IBM Research Zurich describes a new method for local lysis of living adherent cells within a microfluidic probe for genomic and transcription profiling.

Laboratory Setup

A microfluidic probe was used for the local analysis of biological samples (e.g. co-cultures). To realize the microscale confinement of biochemicals, a simultaneous injection and aspiration process was applied — hydrodynamic flow confinement (HFC). The liquid-handling process was implemented using 4 neMESYS Low Pressure Syringe Pumps. Large lysate volumes (> 100 µl) were directly collected within the syringes associated with the corresponding aspiration pumps. Small volumes (< 10 µL) were collected at the microfluidic probe head using an additional neMESYS Low Pressure Syringe Pump and then injected into a PCR tube. Intermediate lysate volumes (≈ 50 µL) were extracted into sampling loops using a Qmix V Valve module.

In summary, based on the modular neMESYS syringe pump system and features of automation software QmixElements, a novel setup for cell lysis and sample collection could be realized. Overall, 5 pumps providing the necessary injection and aspiration of independent streams of various reagents enabled continuous lysis to generate highly concentrated lysates for DNA analysis. In addition to the microfluidic probe and periphery (motorized xyz stages, microscope), the neMESYS system characterized by reliable precision and pulsation-free flow in combination with the versatile control software, is ideal for this customer application.

Used CETONI products:

  • Cableset BASE120
  • 5 x Low Pressure Syringe Pump neMESYS 290N
  • Low Pressure Valve Qmix V EX
  • QmixElements software


Kashyap A., Autebert J., Delamarche E., Kaigala G. V., Selective local lysis and sampling of live cells for nucleic acid analysis using a microfluidic probe. Sci Rep 2016, 6 (29579). DOI: 10.1038/srep29579