Chief Technical Officer Sphere Fluidics, United Kingdom
Cell engineering is bringing life science into a new era of novel approaches for biotherapeutic discovery and development, disease modelling, and synthetic biology research. Many current technologies used in cell engineering workflows typically involve multistep operations, high hands-on time, and lengthy liquid handling processes as well as low throughput bioassays for functional validation and verification. We wished to investigate the use of experimental tools to potentially enable automated, high-throughput cell engineering workflows. We demonstrate that using microfluidic devices with well-defined microchannel geometries and accurate flow control, uniform picolitre volume droplets (picodroplets) can be generated and used as miniaturized “test tubes” for high-throughput bioassays. We will showcase how we used picodroplet microfluidic technology to create novel, integrated and automated workflows for single cell genome editing, cell therapy, synthetic biology, and other research areas.