Isolation of single motile cells using a high-speed picoliter pipette

  • Yusuke Kasai
  • Shinya SakumaEmail author
  • Fumihito Arai
Research Paper


Isolation of single cells is a fundamental technique for single-cell analyses. High resolution of controlled volume is required to isolate the target cell from a cell group with tiny medium of single-cell level. Furthermore, the speed of isolation is also an important requirement to capture a motile cell. To achieve cell isolation with high resolution at high speed, we present a high-speed picoliter pipette as an isolation device, which is driven by a piezoelectric actuator. We evaluated performances of the developed picoliter pipette. The results showed a high-resolution and high-speed response of 0.42 pL and 3.9 ms, respectively. In addition, we applied the picoliter pipette to isolate the Euglena gracilis (E. gracilis) cell which was a motile cell. Utilizing the fast response of developed picoliter pipette, we succeeded in picking up a swimming single E. gracilis cell. After the picking up, we isolated the picked cells into other culture dish individually. We evaluated viability of the isolated E. gracilis cells, and 99.1 % (total: 110 cells) of the cells showed motility and division ability. From these results, we achieved the high-speed picoliter pipetting for single-cell isolation.


Micropipette High-speed Picoliter Cell isolation Motile cell Euglena 



This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid from the Impulsing Paradigm Change through Disruptive Technologies Program (ImPACT).

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Micro-Nano Mechanical Science and EngineeringNagoya UniverisityNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.Institutes of Innovation for Future SocietyNagoya UniverisityNagoyaJapan

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