Method for Analyzing Molecular Expression or Function in an Intact Single Cell

Philip W. Landfield, University of Kentucky
Olivier Thibault, University of Kentucky
Eric M. Blalock, University of Kentucky
Kuey-Chu Chen, University of Kentucky
Patrick Kaminker, University of Kentucky


A method for obtaining molecules from a substantially intact single cell is disclosed. The method differs from prior methods that obtain a variable fraction of a cell's contents and therefore cannot quantitatively estimate the number of molecules in the cells. The present method comprises isolating and harvesting a substantially intact single cell from its organ tissue comprising the steps of subjecting a tissue mass to a dissociation method so that the cells are dissociated from the tissue to expose cell bodies or cell processes, contacting a dissociated cell with a device capable of collecting the cell from the tissue substantially intact, withdrawing device with the cell attached, and then isolating or detecting the molecules in the single cell.