Micro- and nanofluidic devices are revolutionizing the fields of single-cell analysis, and benefiting related efforts in life science research, agricultural industry, and clinical medicine. These miniaturized devices introduce much desired capabilities in accurate cell and fluid handling, and thus enable quantitative multiparameter and high-throughput approaches to analyze single cells in large numbers, advancing our understanding on how the complex normal and diseased behavior of ensembles of cells emerges from the behavior of each cell or only a few dominating rare cells. The content of this chapter is broadly divided into two parts—single-cell manipulation (SCM) and single-cell analysis (SCA). The first part of the chapter presents state-of-the-art techniques developed to handle single cells, including counting, sorting, positioning, and culturing, which are essential steps in many biological and medical assays. These manipulation techniques are frequently combined with other stimulating and sensing techniques for the observation and characterization of single cells, which are described in the second part of the chapter. Major approaches to probe either intact or lysed single cells, with a special attention on the integration of fluidics and sensor technology, are reviewed. Various operation principles are explained along with pivotal examples demonstrating their applications and perspectives. Droplet-based techniques, although very exciting, are not discussed here due to different sets of technical considerations and performance metrics involved. Techniques providing the access to the intracellular content for sampling or injection of additional compounds are not included here and are covered in Chaps. 3 and 4 of this book, respectively.
Single-cell Microfluidic devices Nanofluidics devices Cell sorting Cell manipulation Flow focusing Cell count Cell culture Cell probing Sensors