UnipicK™ is a vacuum-assisted single cell collection and tissue microdissection instrument based on NDX’s original capillary-based cell and tissue acquisition system (CTAS; USPT 8,797,644; Kudo et al, 2012) that can acquire individual cells from cell cultures and tissues.  It permits rapid acquisition of single cells from any untreated cell cultures, providing reliable and affordable means of most sophisticated experimentation. Moreover, the instrument is suitable for individual cell collection and region specific acquisition of subanatomical areas from complex heterogeneous tissues such as the brain. Operation of the system is intuitive and requires minimal training. Cell cultures require no treatment or specific peripherals, thus enabling unmatched flexibility in experimental design and sample collection.

Perhaps one of the most distinct features is the ability of UnipicK™ to collect live cells for further reculturing and a plethora of downstream functional studies.  Both individual fluorescently labeled and morphologically distinct cells can be acquired from any cell cultures or tissue sections.  The procedure has been demonstrated from nearly all types of adherent, suspended and 3D cultures, including difficult samples such as primary cells, or individual cells from fresh frozen and sucrose treated complex tissues, such as brain (please, see http://www.youtube.com/user/NDXInc). With live cells viability tests have demonstrated up to 99% after collection, and up to 30 cells per minute may be collected from adherent cultures.

RNA isolated from collected cells and tissue regions exhibits high integrity and low degradation rates with RIN >9.0. Subsequent labeling protocols (e.g. T7 based) consistently produce high incorporation yields making it suitable for downstream PCR, microarray and sequencing analyses.

The instruments’ low cost, ease of use, single cell resolution, and minimal impact on cell viability, make it unique and vital research tools. Importantly, UnipicK™ is a free standing instrument that can be mounted over a wide range of inverted microscope models, providing additional flexibility in the laboratory.

Notable Features of UnipicK™ include:

– Simple operation with minimal training

– Single cell collection from untreated cultures and tissue sections

– Efficient tissue microdissection

– High viability of collected cells

– High quality RNA and protein for downstream –omics studies

– Flexibility and versatility – fit any inverted microscope

– Fraction of the cost of any laser assisted microdissection instrument