About this Research Topic
Biological samples, and more in detail cell populations, are intrinsically heterogeneous, nevertheless standard, approaches analyze the average properties of the entire cell populations hindering single-cell specificity. Therefore, single-cell investigation is a priority for human health, with several implications in diagnosis, screening as well as in patient monitoring and personalized drug optimization. Microfluidics is becoming a powerful instrumentation to target this goal. However, this requires the capability to assess particle manipulation, in order to sort, orient, align and stretch specimens in a controlled way.
Microfluidics, based on the manipulation of small volumes of fluids, is a powerful approach for biological sample investigations, thanks to the low reagent consumption, high automation, and microchannel dimensions that are comparable with single-cell size. The layout of these devices can be tailored to allow both high throughput processing as well as single-cell investigation, with higher efficiency with respect to standard bulk instrumentation. In this context, in recent years, several groups have developed innovative devices for particle manipulation in microfluidics. Depending on the applications, both active approaches based on external active fields or passive approaches based on fluidic forces have been developed and optimized to isolate, manipulate and study different sub-populations of cells as well as droplets, embryos, algae, or cellular spheroids. This has allowed us to reach new insights into cell heterogeneity, address fundamental questions, and develop new tools for tomorrow’s medicine and research.
The scope of this Research Topic is to present through original research articles, reviews as well as methods, an overview of the latest and most significant contributions in the field of particle manipulation in microfluidics.
Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
-Device design and optimization
-Biological investigations and analyses.
Keywords: Microfluidics, particle manipulation, sorting, stretching, passive techniques, active techniques
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.