Lightcast news

Lightcast publishes paper describing its light-based technology and application to single-cell functional biology at scale.

Written by
Full Name
Published on
March 26, 2024
Share this post

In conjunction with Clare Bryant from the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Lightcast has released its first preprint publication outlining the technical details of its platform which harnesses droplet microfluidics and optical electrowetting-on-dielectric (oEWOD) – a technology that enables movement of individual droplets with projections of light in an automated and highly parallel manner.

"Imagine being able to implicitly select, control, combine, perturbate, and functionally query 10s to 100s of thousands of single cells in parallel," says Lightcast CCO Paul Steinberg. "The opportunities to simplify and leverage innate biological complexity are endless."

While this level of flexibility and customisability has been beyond the reach of researchers until now, Lightcast's core features open doors to discovering cellular function:

  • The Load feature enables encapsulation of objects such as beads and cells into picolitre-scale droplets in a process shown to be gentle and non-harmful to cells.
  • The Filter function overcomes the limitations of Poisson statistics by actively selecting for single-occupancy droplets of the correct size using oEWOD, a camera, and machine-learning.
  • Typically, only single-occupancy droplets are retained on-chip in an Array for further processing, while undesirable (e.g.empty) droplets are sent to waste, allowing the user to query more meaningful droplets and vastly increase throughput.
  • Once on chip, the user has the ability to employ a flexible suite of operations, including fluorescent acquisition of assay readouts, and...
  • The Merge feature combines contents of different droplet populations to mix together cells, beads, and/or assay reagents.

Furthermore, the pre-print explores the potential for sequential merge operations which go beyond two-way merge workflows and unlock complex single-cell experimentation of unprecedented complexity.

Read the full paper on the bioRxiv website.

Download to full document

Share this post

Register to receive updates

Be the first to know about product news and events.

Register to receive updates

Be the first to know about product news and events.