Tissue microprocessing using a microfluidic probe
Emmanuel Delamarche, IBM Research - Zurich
In contrast to standard microfluidics, which are typically closed, we developed a scanning, non-contact microfluidic technology that can shape liquids in the "open space" over surfaces. This technology utilizes a microfluidic probe (MFP) having microfabricated injection and aspiration apertures for localizing a liquid of interest on a surface using hydrodynamic flow confinement. The MFP permits patterning surfaces with proteins in an additive and subtractive manner, forming gradients of protein on surfaces, and interacting with cells on surfaces. With flow confinement operating at volumes smaller than 1 nanoliter, a few cells can be targeted in a tissue section for the specific staining of disease markers. Flow confinement and efficient use of chemicals can be further optimized using a new concept called "hierarchical" hydrodynamic flow confinement. I will show how the MFP may help pathologists extract critical information locally from tissue sections.