The DEPArray™ Technology

Move and recover pure, single, viable rare cells.

Discover all the features of the DEPArray™ technology and CellBrowser™ software below.

DEPArray™ technology is based on the ability of a non-uniform electric field to exert forces on neutral, polarizable particles, such as cells, that are suspended in a liquid. This electrokinetic principle, called dielectrophoresis (DEP), can be used to trap cells in DEP “cages” by creating an electric field above a subset of electrodes in an array that is in counter phase with the electric field of adjacent electrodes. When a DEP cage is moved by a change in the electric field pattern, the trapped cell moves with it.

Silicon Biosystems has combined the ability to manipulate individual cells using DEP technology with high quality image-based cell selection to create the DEPArray™ System. This automated platform enables users to identify and recover specific individual cells of interest from complex, heterogeneous samples.

CellBrowser Labeled WEB

Unique benefits of DEPArray™ technology include

  • Single Cell Resolution
    DEP cages allow the trapping, manipulation, and recovery of individual cells on the DEPArray™ System.
  • High Fidelity Recovery
    Multiple cells and cell types that may be present in a heterogeneous sample can be selected for collection using DEPArray™ technology.
  • Viability
    Cells are moved without contact or friction. DEP cage movement is gentle and exerts no shear force or strain on cells. The low voltage, megahertz frequency DEP cages impart no electrical or charge-based impact on cells. Recovered cells remain intact and viable for further analysis, including cell culture.

The DEPArray™ System

The only automated instrument that can identify, quantify, and recover individual rare cells

The System includes the proprietary DEPArray™ cartridge and DEPArray™ analysis platform.

The DEPArray™ cartridge leverages DEPArray™ Technology  to control the manipulation and collection of cells. The single-use, microfluidic cartridge contains an array of individually controllable electrodes, each with embedded sensors. This circuitry enables the creation of dielectrophoretic (DEP) cages around cells. After imaging, individual cells of interest are gently moved to specific locations on the cartridge, e.g. for cell-cell interaction studies, or into the holding chamber for isolation and recovery.

cartridgeThe DEPArray™ analysis platform utilizes high quality, image-based selection to allow identification and isolation of cells of interest on the DEPArray™ cartridge. The automated system uses a six-channel fluorescent microscope and CCD camera to capture images and identify cells demonstrating the desired fluorescence labeling and morphological characteristics. The system optics provide 10x magnification (0.64 micron/pixel) resolution and 20x magnification (0.32 micron/pixel) resolution. CellBrowser™ software allows for multiple parameters from fluorescence and bright field images for cell selection.

The DEPArray™ System can analyze samples containing from one to tens of thousands of cells and is compatible with a wide variety of rare cell suspensions, including live and fixed cells; enriched cells; and samples with small cell loads, such as fine needle aspirates and tissue biopsies.

Pure. Single. Viable.

The DEPArray™ System enables isolation of individual, intact cells, allowing researchers to study the biological significance of rare cells in disease development, progression, and therapeutic response.

  • Pure—Image-based selection combined with recovery of cells in a separate, clean buffer solution enables the isolation of specific rare cells from other cell types and from contaminants, cell fragments, and false positives that can confound downstream analysis.
  • Single—DEPArray™ technology ensures recovery of individual cells of interest, allowing genomic and expression analysis at the single cell level.
  • Viable—DEP capture and movement of cells is gentle, allowing cells to be recovered directly to culture plates.

The DEPArray™ System is unique in combining imaging technologies with the ability to manipulate and recover individual, viable rare cells from a heterogeneous sample. This technology is enabling advances in areas such as oncology research, drug response and fetal cell biology. Learn more about applications of DEPArray™ technology.


Isolation of rare cells on the DEPArray™ System:

DEPArray System Isolation