VyCAP's puncher technology for single cell identification, isolation, and analysis

Michiel Stevens, Lisa Oomens, Joska Johannes Broekmaat, Joris Weersink, Fekri Abali, Joost Franciscus Swennenhuis, Arjan G.J. Tibbe (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
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Here we present the Puncher technology for the isolation of single cells. This technology combines a silicon chip with microwells, fluorescence imaging, and a punching method to isolate and transfer the single cells to standard reaction tubes. The technology is compatible with commercially available downstream workflows and instrumentation. Here we focus on the isolation of CTC but the Puncher technology can be applied to isolate single cells from liquid biopsies and more general from cell suspensions. It is especially suited for cell suspensions that contain:
* Cells of interest at a frequency of 1 per 10,000 or less
* A low total number of cells ranging from 1 to 100,000, that are present in a volume of 0.01 to 50 mL.

The frequency of appearance of CTC in blood is in the order of the 1 per 106 leukocytes. To be able to isolate the single CTC with the Puncher technology, enrichment of the CTC by a 3 logs reduction of the leukocytes is required. Here we describe the use of Rosettesep and Parsortix as examples of pre‐enrichment methods that are compatible with the Puncher technology and further downstream applications. © 2018 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry
Over the last couple of decades, multiple technologies have been developed for the enrichment and isolation of rare cells, including circulating tumor cell (CTC). Compatibility between these technologies, is however mostly not present 1-3. Enriched sample volumes are too large or the number of unwanted cells in the enriched samples is too high to identify and isolate the cells of interest. This leads to low recovery rates when isolating single CTC from the enriched samples. The Puncher technology for single cell isolation overcomes most of these issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1255-1259
Number of pages5
JournalCytometry. Part A
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2018


  • Puncher
  • circulating tumor cells
  • clonal expansion
  • microwells
  • single cell isolation
  • 22/4 OA procedure


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