Automated micropipette aspiration of single cells

Ehsan Shojaei-Baghini, Yi Zheng, Yu Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


This paper presents a system for mechanically characterizing single cells using automated micropipette aspiration. Using vision-based control and position control, the system controls a micromanipulator, a motorized translation stage, and a custom-built pressure system to position a micropipette (4 μm opening) to approach a cell, form a seal, and aspirate the cell into the micropipette for quantifying the cell's elastic and viscoelastic parameters as well as viscosity. Image processing algorithms were developed to provide controllers with real-time visual feedback and to accurately measure cell deformation behavior on line. Experiments on both solid-like and liquid-like cells demonstrated that the system is capable of efficiently performing single-cell micropipette aspiration and has low operator skill requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1208-1216
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological cell characterization
  • Mechanical properties
  • Micropipette aspiration
  • Robotic cell manipulation
  • Visual servoing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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