High-Throughput Microfluidics Platform for Intracellular Delivery and Sampling of Biomolecules from Live Cells

Cesar A. Patino, Prithvijit Mukherjee, Eric J. Berns, Elamar Hakim Moully, Liliana Stan, Milan Mrksich, Horacio D. Espinosa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Nondestructive cell membrane permeabilization systems enable the intracellular delivery of exogenous biomolecules for cell engineering tasks as well as the temporal sampling of cytosolic contents from live cells for the analysis of dynamic processes. Here, we report a microwell array format live-cell analysis device (LCAD) that can perform localized-electroporation induced membrane permeabilization, for cellular delivery or sampling, and directly interfaces with surface-based biosensors for analyzing the extracted contents. We demonstrate the capabilities of the LCAD via an automated high-throughput workflow for multimodal analysis of live-cell dynamics, consisting of quantitative measurements of enzyme activity using self-assembled monolayers for MALDI mass spectrometry (SAMDI) and deep-learning enhanced imaging and analysis. By combining a fabrication protocol that enables robust assembly and operation of multilayer devices with embedded gold electrodes and an automated imaging workflow, we successfully deliver functional molecules (plasmid and siRNA) into live cells at multiple time-points and track their effect on gene expression and cell morphology temporally. Furthermore, we report sampling performance enhancements, achieving saturation levels of protein tyrosine phosphatase activity measured from as few as 60 cells, and demonstrate control over the amount of sampled contents by optimization of electroporation parameters using a lumped model. Lastly, we investigate the implications of cell morphology on electroporation-induced sampling of fluorescent molecules using a deep-learning enhanced image analysis workflow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS nano
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • cell sampling
  • deep learning
  • electroporation
  • enzymatic activity
  • intracellular delivery
  • microfluidics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'High-Throughput Microfluidics Platform for Intracellular Delivery and Sampling of Biomolecules from Live Cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this