Micropatterned arrays considerably advanced single cell fluorescence time-lapse measurements by providing standardized boundary conditions for thousands of cells in parallel. In these assays, cells are forced to adhere to defined microstructured protein islands separated by passivated, nonadhesive areas. Here we provide a detailed protocol on how to reproducibly fabricate high quality single cell arrays by microscale plasma-initiated protein patterning (μPIPP). Advantages of μPIPP arrays are the ease of preparation and the unrestricted choice of substrates as well as proteins. We demonstrate how the arrays enable the efficient measurement of single cell time trajectories using automated data acquisition and data analysis by example of single cell gene expression after mRNA transfection and time courses of single cell apoptosis. We discuss the more general use of the protocol for assessment of single cell dynamics with the help of fluorescent reporters.
- Microscale plasma-initiated protein patterning (μPIPP)
- Single-cell analysis
- High-throughput screening
- Time-lapse microscopy