Gel microdroplets and flow cytometry: rapid determination of
antibody secretion by individual cells within a cell population.
Powell KT; Weaver JC Biotechnology (N Y) (AL1), 1990 Apr; 8 (4): 333-7
We report a new method capable of rapidly determining the
secretion of biologically important macromolecules from each
of many individual cells within a large population. This
method combines flow cytometry with gel microdroplets
(GMDs), which in this study were agarose particles ranging
from about 53 to 88 mu in diameter. The GMDs were formed
from a liquid 2.5% agarose suspension with cells at a
concentration which yielded mostly zero or one cell per GMD.
A large number of extracellular binding sites were also
provided within each GMD, allowing the capture of secreted
molecules, and their subsequent measurement by solid phase,
fluorescence immunoassay. The method was explored using a
model system of mouse hybridoma (secreting) and mouse
masticytoma (non-secreting) cells. The method was able to
determine subpopulations of individual cells that secreted
antibody in less than fifteen hours after receipt of a
conventional cell suspension.