Controlled 'One-Cell-One-Bead' Encapsulation in Droplets

Tech ID: 28925 / UC Case 2017-814-0

Brief Description

Improving droplet encapsulation of a single-cell and single-bead to increase pharmacological assay throughput.

Full Description

Encapsulation of a single cell and bead reagent is of critical importance when conducting droplet based analysis of single cells. Currently, droplet encapsulation is not well controlled. One-cell-one-bead encapsulation efficiency is limited by an uncontrolled random droplet encapsulation of cells and beads (0.1% 1 in 100 droplets). This low droplet encapsulation efficiency hinders the realization of high throughput droplet based experiments.

UCI researchers have developed a microfluidic droplet encapsulation method to efficiently encapsulate one-cell and one bead. By designing a microfluidic device with controllable fluid flow and a high force liquid-liquid interface, one-cell one-bead droplet encapsulation efficacy can be well controlled. Utilizing the invented technology, it has been shown that a significantly large increase in droplet encapsulation efficiency can now be readily achieved. Whereas existing techniques only provide random encapsulation governed by Poisson statistics, the improved encapsulation efficiency in this invention enhances the ability to perform single cell genomics and proteomics on a microfluidic platform.

Suggested uses

  • Improving pharmacological assay throughput by efficiently generating droplets that encapsulate a single cell and bead
  • Capture specific proteins and antigens from single cells using functionalized beads


Modular microfluidic technology that is capable of encapsulating one cell and one bead in one droplet

Increased droplet encapsulation efficiency

Improved droplet throughput for sequencing applications including single cell genomics and proteomics.

Patent Status

Patent Pending

State Of Development

Inventors have completed the experimental and validation phase with a working prototype. As the next step, the inventors plan to optimize device parameters in hopes to commercialize or license the technology.


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Other Information

Categorized As

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