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Mechanical and Electrical sensing single cells using microfluidic devices - Bruno Le Pioufle

ENS Paris Saclay

The microfluidic technologies spread in the domain of biology for the cell treatment or the sensing applications. During this presentation, the integration of electrical and mechanical functions on a miniaturized biodevice, for the sensing, handling or treatment of single cells will be discussed.

The single cell impedance spectroscopy, which gives assess to the dielectric properties of the membrane and intra-cellular compartment, becomes challenging, as its sensitivity is linked to the volume fraction of the cell within the surrounding medium, and consequently to the vicinity of the sensing electrodes with the cell.

Electromechanical characterization of cells is a possible alternative to sense the dielectric properties of single cells. Indeed, the electrorotation experiments based on the dielectric polarization of the cell, once submitted to a propagative rotatory electrical field, is highly informative on its dielectric properties, and does do require high volume factor. Electrorotation experiments performed on microfluidic devices will be described.

In addition, the dielectric contrast between cells can be used for the sorting purpose. Example will be given for the pathogen cells extraction from blood sample. Finally, the mechanical contrast between cells can be also sensed in microfluidic devices, for the sorting or diagnosis purposes. Specifically, biodevices for the diagnosis of red blood cell pathologies affecting their deformability will be given (case of malaria and sickled cell disease)


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