About the core

    We are part of the Single-cell Omics Biocenter Finland national technology platform service and we also work in close collaboration with the Finnish Functional Genomics Centre, the Bioinformatics Unit and the Cell Imaging Core at TCB.

    Research and development

    Single cell screens offered by Microfluidics

    Droplet-based microfluidics is a powerful tool, providing high-throughput methods that are needed for capturing the unbiased diversity of cells for analysis or sorting. This inDrops platform is a promising candidate for capturing and processing thousands of individual cells for whole-transcriptome or genomic analysis in a massively parallel manner, which is also easily adapted for screening other intracellular, cell-surface or secreted protein and for quantifying catalytic or regulatory activities with minimal reagent use.

    For further information, please contact hongbo.zhang@utu.fi.


    We provide a range of applications:

    • High-throughput single cell analysis
    • RNA sequencing
    • DNA sequencing
    • Secretion measurement / analysis
    • Protein detection:
      biomarkers (in rare cells), screens for monoclonal antibodies
    • Multistep Biological and chemical assays
    • Drug screening
    • Cytotoxicity screen


    Key features:

    • Capture cells of practically any size and shows no size bias.
    • Index >15,000 cells in an hour.
    • Capture and profile >75% of cells in very small samples, on a scale of thousands or tens of
      thousands of cells.
    • The number of reaction ‘wells’ is not limited by the physical dimensions of the chip but
      scales linearly with the emulsion volume.
    • Reduced reaction volumes provide huge savings in reagents cost when performing large
      numbers of reactions in parallel.
    • Compartmentalization of each cell improves the yield of results and reduce technical
    • Link genotype with phenotype through compartmentalization.


    Sample requirements:

    • For limiting samples, in which the total input consists of < 200,000 cells (e.g., fine-needle
      aspirations, tumor biopsies, or rare stem cell populations already purified by FACS).
    • inDrops requires at least 2,000 cells of input material, and in practice an amount >10,000
      cells is preferred.
    • Heterogeneous assays are difficult to perform inside droplets. Droplet contents can be
      adjusted through droplet fusion or by injecting a liquid stream, in which procedures do not
      completely exchange a buffer.
    • Droplets can be incubated for up to ~1 h in delay lines, or incubated for longer times in on-
      chip, or off-chip reservoirs.


    Compatible techniques:

    • Passive droplet fusion
    • Electrocoalescence
    • Picoinjection
    • Fluorescence detection
    • Acoustic waves
    • Dielectrophoresis