Natural Killer cells are a type of white blood cell that physically interact with target cancer cells and determine whether to lyse them. The innate heterogeneity of both cancer and NK cells leads to a variety of interactions between pairs of NK-cancer cells. Therefore, single-cell analysis would help in analyzing these interactions and reprogramming NK cell immunotherapeutic efficacy.


To facilitate the analysis, researchers have developed a hydrodynamic microfluidic device that entraps NK-cancer cell pairs, and analyzes dynamic cell interactions through on-chip lysis, and retrieval of intracellular components.


Technology Overview 

The proposed platform permits sequential capture and pairing of two cell types robustly with high efficiency. The pressure-driven 96-trap device consists of capture-culture sites and individually tailored lysate recovery outlets. The array of microchambers with controlling microchannels are designed for the precise capture and release of specific single-cells. Heterotypic cell loading, entrapment, and docking are conducted sequentially, ensuring deterministic capturing. Cells are injected into the microchannel through the inlet and captured in the trapping channels. Fluid flow conditions are optimized to prevent overloading. This design ensures stable, long term, and dynamic monitoring of the live cell interaction. The analytical protocol provides a correlation of functional signatures (synapse, voltage, and cytolysis) with genetic signatures, providing a comprehensive overview of cellular machinery.



o Precise collection and identification of cells

o Prevents handling errors due to on-chip lysis of target cells

o Long term and dynamic monitoring of cell interactions

o Fast and controllable method

o High throughput method

o Scalable method



o Personalized immunotherapy

o Single‑cell genome sequencing



o License

o Partnering

o Research collaboration




Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Vaibhav Saini
Senior Manager Commercialization
Northeastern University
Yantao Fan
Tania Konry