for seamless cellomics
research and development
Smaller costs with smaller wells: Each ARRALYZE well needs less of costly and rare reagents. For example a 100 µm well with a depth of 400 µm has a volume of about 3.1 nL. That is approximately 64,000-times less than the volume of a well of a 96 microwell plate (recommended working volume of 200 µL/well). Is there any other workflow in your lab that has this immediate cost saving potential?
Ever thought about running a few million single cell experiments on one single micoscope slide? Cells, even of the same type, all behave a little differently. That's why statistically significant results require many experiments and many more control experiments - the more the better.
With well diameters of 10 µm and a spacing of 5 µm in-between you could easily fit 8,000,000 wells on one microscope slide (25 x 75 mm).
For the same number of experiments you would need more than 80,000 96 microwell plates.
Besides the obvious cost saving benefits the small ARRALYZE wells also allow for starting drug discovery screenings much earlier since you do not have to wait until organic chemists have optimized their synthetic routes for providing larger amounts of the respective potential drug for testing.
Besides its optical transparency and other benefits for life science applications glass is almost inert towards most chemicals. For life science applications, many glass types have been developed that possess high transparency and low autofluorescence with particularly high inertness towards chemicals. Since the LIDE manufacturing process works with basically all types of glass, we recommend using the glass type that is best suited for your assay. This way you can be sure that you do not have to compromise regarding the matrix for your experiments. Just contact us for an individual consultation!
Since we can produce your ARRALYZE glass arrays with glass types that are highly resistant to chemicals, the risk that chemicals from the matrix leach into your well and alter your experiment is very small. Why should you risk that even small amounts of a softening agent from a plastic or some of the oil molecules in droplet microfluidic experiments diffuse into your microenvironment? In biological experiments and particularly when you want to transfer your results to medical applications, the last thing you need is that your matrix was not inert and released chemicals into your experiment!
The risk is not only that chemicals from the matrix leach into your well but also that some of your reagents are absorbed by the matrix. This way the actual concentration of the reagents might be much smaller than you think and the missing impact on the cell will be misleading. Another risk of a permeable material lies in the release of small quantities of reagents into adjacent compartments. Here, you might observe false positive results indicating that a certain drug is very potent towards a certain tumor cell - but in reality the effect arises from an unknown combination of drugs.
Using one of our standard arrays is of course the fastest way to get your hands on the ARRALYZE technology and take advantage of its benefits. However, in particular in cell research, the micro-environment has a huge impact on how the cells behave. Maybe you want to study single cells and compare them to small clusters? Maybe you like to see the differences between cells on a flat surface and compare them to the same number of cells that are piled up in a narrow deep well? With ARRALYZE this is an easy task: since LIDE is a digital manufacturing process for micro features in glass it is very economical to produce the well sizes, shapes and numbers that work best for your experiment and study all needed configurations on one single array.
Besides the well size and shape you can of course also pick the format of your glass array. Typical formats are the microscope slide format and our smaller 22 x 22 mm array with subarrays of 24 or 96 wells. However, you can also choose different sizes and shapes and group your wells in many ways. On top of the layout you can even choose the glass type. Typically, we use glass that has high transmittance, low autofluorescence and is highly resistant to chemicals. But some applications need glass with a certain index of refraction, reactivity for surface modifications or something else. The LIDE manufacturing process works with all silicon dioxide-based glass types and choosing another glass type is absolutely an option if needed. Just contact us for an individual consultation!
With the ARRALYZER, you will be able to automate many tedious, repetitive steps. When your ARRALYZE arrays arrive, they are immediately recognized by the machine and the layout is imported into the software. Alignment and calibration are done automatically. All you need to do is equip the ARRALYZER with all needed reagents and sample material, then specify the kind of experiments and where you want to place them on the array. From there the ARRALYZER can do everything automatically.
With the ARRALYZER, knowing where your cells are located is only the beginning. From simply counting cells in thousands of wells, to observing fluorescent emission over time, to real-time imaging of the cells’ evolution – you have all the tools in hand: the ARRALYZER offers inspection of your specimen with bright field microscopy, fluorescence or phase contrast mode, by capturing either real-time video of individual wells or images of thousands of wells.
Finding a single cell in a petri dish is quite an exhausting task that consumes a lot of time. This is still true for wells in standard microwell plates. If you are aiming for high-throughput, it just makes sense to scale down and put your cells into vessels not much larger than the cells themselves. This way, you will find them much easier and finish the scan of your array much faster - and the ARRALYZER does it for you!