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Technologies for Single-Cell Printing and Patterning

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Handbook of Single-Cell Technologies


Printing single cells after isolating them from heterogeneous cell populations has the potential to reveal several new insights into cell behavior, therapeutics, and precision medicine. Since studies conducted on individual cells are independent of background noise that results from other cells present in the vicinity as well as intercellular phenotypic heterogeneity, they can provide an accurate characterization of tissue microenvironments such as multiclonal tumors while allowing single-cell genome/proteome analysis. Additionally, the ability to print at the resolution of a single cell could also facilitate the development of three-dimensional, multicell type patterns that could potentially enable highly precise tissue engineering and accurate cell-cell communication studies. A variety of single-cell printers have been developed for research and commercial applications and can be broadly categorized into either “contact” or “noncontact” dispensing techniques. These printers, however, face significant challenges surrounding accuracy and sensitivity that can be addressed by building in additional functionalities such as optical detection algorithms and impedance detection. In this chapter, we will discuss various single-cell dispensing techniques: laser printing, inkjet printing, microcontact printing, acoustic-droplet generation, electrohydrodynamic spraying, cell sorting, and cell trapping, as well as an overview of current and potential applications.

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This work was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grants and Canada Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leaders Opportunity Fund.

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Correspondence to Keekyoung Kim .

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© 2022 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd, part of Springer Nature

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Ambhorkar, P., Sakr, M.A., Kumar, H., Kim, K. (2022). Technologies for Single-Cell Printing and Patterning. In: Santra, T.S., Tseng, FG. (eds) Handbook of Single-Cell Technologies. Springer, Singapore.

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