Built on picodroplet technology
At the heart of our platforms are picodroplets – picolitre-volume aqueous droplets in a carrier oil. Each droplet acts as a tiny separate test tube. Cells are encapsulated in droplets with the assay reagents and passed through microfluidics for sorting and dispensing. Miniaturized, high-speed and fully automated to streamline your application.
Scale, speed, and precision
Much more than mammalian cells
Picodroplet technology can be applied to a wide variety of non-mammalian cells. The same principles of single cell encapsulation and gentle handling give a broad range of applications. Excellent gas exchange characteristics into the droplets ensure cell viability and strong replication. Validated organisms include E. coli, S. cerevisiae, and C. reinhardtii.
Biological targets, such as metabolites and enzymes, are not always easily detected – or even compatible – with fluorescent assays. We’ve developed a new platform where mass spectrometry is directly integrated with picodroplets to give real-time high-throughput assessment and selection of ‘hit’ cells. By splitting the droplet, we can pass half the material to the mass spectrometer for testing and retain the other half. Once the spectrum is measured, a selection decision is made in real time and on-the-fly – and the retained cells are kept alive for further processing.
Screen millions of cells a day
Picodroplets give the best of both worlds. Encapsulating cells in droplets provides a gentle environment that allows high-speed manipulation, such as sorting, without damage or cross-talk between droplets. At the same time, each droplet is assessed individually to understand the local micro-environment derived from a single monoclonal cell. You can assess millions of cells in a day – every day.
Go round the cycle easily
The heart of synthetic biology is the design-build-test-learn cycle – carried out on a massive scale. Picodroplets allow integrated high-speed editing, assessment, and selection of large populations of cells. This particularly supports approaches such as directed evolution where the cycle is repeated over and again.