Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE
In this manuscript, we first describe the fabrication protocol of a microfluidic chip, with gold dots and fibronectin-coated regions on the same glass substrate, that precisely controls the generation of tandem bubbles and individual cells patterned nearby with well-defined locations and shapes. We then demonstrate the generation of tandem bubbles by using two pulsed lasers illuminating a pair of gold dots with a few-microsecond time delay. We visualize the bubble-bubble interaction and jet formation by high-speed imaging and characterize the resultant flow field using particle image velocimetry (PIV). Finally, we present some applications of this technique for single cell analysis, including cell membrane poration with macromolecule uptake, localized membrane deformation determined by the displacements of attached integrin-binding beads, and intracellular calcium response from ratiometric imaging. Our results show that a fast and directional jetting flow is produced by the tandem bubble interaction, which can impose a highly localized shear stress on the surface of a cell grown in close proximity. Furthermore, different bioeffects can be induced by altering the strength of the jetting flow by adjusting the standoff distance from the cell to the tandem bubbles.