Raman-Activated Droplet Sorting (RADS) for Label-Free High-Throughput Screening of Microalgal Single-Cells

Authors: Wang, Xixian; Ren, Lihui; Su, Yetian; Ji, Yuetong; Liu, Yaoping; Li, Chunyu; Li, Xunrong; Zhang, Yi; Wang, Wei; Hu, Qiang; Han, Danxiang; Xu, Jian; Ma, Bo

Raman-activated cell sorting (RACS) has attracted increasing interest, yet throughput remains one major factor limiting its broader application. Here we present an integrated Raman-activated droplet sorting (RADS) microfluidic system for functional screening of live cells in a label-free and high-throughput manner, by employing AXT-synthetic industrial microalga Haematococcus pluvialis (H. pluvialis) as a model. Raman microspectroscopy analysis of individual cells is carried out prior to their microdroplet encapsulation, which is then directly coupled to DEP-based droplet sorting. To validate the system, H. pluvialis cells containing different levels of AXT were mixed and underwent RADS. Those AXT-hyperproducing cells were sorted with an accuracy of 98.3%, an enrichment ratio of eight folds, and a throughput of similar to 260 cells/min. Of the RADS-sorted cells, 92.7% remained alive and able to proliferate, which is equivalent to the unsorted cells. Thus, the RADS achieves a much higher throughput than existing RACS systems, preserves the vitality of cells, and facilitates seamless coupling with downstream manipulations such as single-cell sequencing and cultivation.

Volume: 89
Issue: 9
Pages: 12569 - 12577
Published Online: 2016
Full Text Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.7b03884