High-throughput microfluidic mixing and multiparametric cell sorting for bioactive compound screening.
Additional Document Info
HyperCyt, an automated sample handling system for flow cytometry that uses air bubbles to separate samples sequentially introduced from multiwell plates by an autosampler. In a previously documented HyperCyt configuration, air bubble separated compounds in one sample line and a continuous stream of cells in another are mixed in-line for serial flow cytometric cell response analysis. To expand capabilities for high-throughput bioactive compound screening, the authors investigated using this system configuration in combination with automated cell sorting. Peptide ligands were sampled from a 96-well plate, mixed in-line with fluo-4-loaded, formyl peptide receptor-transfected U937 cells, and screened at a rate of 3 peptide reactions per minute with approximately 10,000 cells analyzed per reaction. Cell Ca(2+) responses were detected to as little as 10(-11) M peptide with no detectable carryover between samples at up to 10(-7) M peptide. After expansion in culture, cells sort-purified from the 10% highest responders exhibited enhanced sensitivity and more sustained responses to peptide. Thus, a highly responsive cell subset was isolated under high-throughput mixing and sorting conditions in which response detection capability spanned a 1000-fold range of peptide concentration. With single-cell readout systems for protein expression libraries, this technology offers the promise of screening millions of discrete compound interactions per day.