Cell paintballing using optically targeted coacervate microdroplets

James P K Armstrong, Sam N. Olof, Monika D. Jakimowicz, Anthony P. Hollander, Stephen Mann, Sean A. Davis, Mervyn J. Miles, Avinash J. Patil, Adam W. Perriman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


We present a new approach for the directed delivery of biomolecular payloads to individual cells with high spatial precision. This was accomplished via active sequestration of proteins, oligonucleotides or molecular dyes into coacervate microdroplets, which were then delivered to specific regions of stem cell membranes using a dynamic holographic assembler, resulting in spontaneous coacervate microdroplet-membrane fusion. The facile preparation, high sequestration efficiency and inherent membrane affinity of the microdroplets make this novel "cell paintballing" technology a highly advantageous option for spatially-directed cell functionalization, with potential applications in single cell stimulation, transfection and differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6106-6111
Number of pages6
JournalChemical Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2015


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