Using micro-patterned sensors and cell self-assembly for measuring the oxygen consumption rate of single cells

James R. Etzkorn, Wen Chung Wu, Zhiyuan Tian, Prince Kim, Sei Hum Jang, Deirdre Meldrum, Alex K Y Jen, Babak A. Parviz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


We present a method for self-assembling arrays of live single cells on a glass chip using a photopatternable polymer to form micro-traps. We have studied the single-cell self-assembly method and optimized the process to obtain a 52% yield of single-trapped cells. We also report a method to measure the oxygen consumption rate of a single cell using micro-patterned sensors. These molecular oxygen sensors were fabricated around each micro-trap allowing optical interrogation of oxygen concentration in the immediate environment of the trapped cell. Micromachined micro-wells were then used to seal the trap, sensor and cell in order to determine the oxygen consumption rate of single cells. These techniques reported here add to the collection of tools for performing 'singe-cell' biology. An oxygen consumption rate of 1.05 ± 0.28 fmol min-1 was found for a data set consisting of 25 single A549 cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number095017
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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