Reveal function with single-cell resolution

Xdrop and Xdrop Sort support high-throughput functional analyses in a single-cell format. See how capturing individual cells or DNA fragments in double-emulsion droplets can revolutionize your workflows.

Benefit from our unique single-cell format for
high-throughput functional analyses

sorting animation    AutoRecovered 31736 Image

Xdrop and Xdrop Sort compartmentalize cells in highly stable, picoliter-sized, double-emulsion droplets for culture, analysis, and fluorescence-based sorting.

Uniquely, two different cell types can be captured in one droplet, allowing for cell–cell interaction assays, including cell-killing assays.

Create the ideal home for functional analyses of cells

What could you achieve if you boosted the speed and accuracy of your functional analyses of living cells?

Xdrop and Xdrop Sort change how you analyze cells by transforming bulk functional analyses and bulk screening into rapid and accurate assays with a unique single-cell format.

Pictured: Co-encapsulated lymphoblasts and natural killer cells with staining to show the successful immune reaction. Top left: bright field image; top right: CFSE staining for natural killer cell; bottom right: eFluor670 staining for lymphoblast; bottom left: PI staining to show dead cell  

How are double-emulsion droplets beneficial?

Xdrop and Xdrop Sort produce double-emulsion droplets that act as picoliter-sized reaction chambers or microenvironments for your cells, making it possible to:

  • Accelerate workflows by increasing the rate of cell–cell interactions or buildup of cell secretions
  • Gain a single-cell view that reveals functional heterogeneity
  • Vastly simplify workflows with straightforward protocols on our benchtop instrument
  • Recover the cells with the desired properties using Xdrop Sort or a fluorescence-based sorting system

Proven performance with cells

Xdrop has proven performance in a range of single-cell format applications, including:

  • Incubation of natural killer (NK) cells, T cells, and B cells
  • Lymphoblast killing by NK cells
  • Cytokine secretion by NK cells and T cells

Both Xdrop and Xdrop Sort have proven performance with microbial cells, including

  • Single-cell incubation of yeast and bacterial cells
  • Enzyme secretion by yeast and bacterial cells

Pictured: Bright field (top) and merged bright field and fluorescent (bottom) images of cellulase-expressing Escherichia coli cell in a double-emulsion droplet (provided by the Schwaneberg Group, RWTH Aachen University)

E coli expressing cellulase

Tiny chambers or microenvironments for your cells

Discover Xdrop DE20 and DE50 droplets

Xdrop generates two sizes of double-emulsion droplets: DE20 and DE50. The Xdrop DE20 Cartridge generates DE20 droplets, which are ~20 µm in diameter (volume: ~1.6 picoliters) and are suitable for microbial cell workflows. The Xdrop DE50 Cartridge generates DE50 droplets, which are ~50 µm in diameter (volume: ~100 picoliters) and are suitable for mammalian cell workflows. Xdrop Sort generates DE20 droplets and can also sort them based on fluorescence signals.

Pictured; Xdrop DE20 Cartridge channels where the reagents mix to form ~20-µm diameter droplets.

Happy mammalian cell DE50 droplet

Cells are happy in DE20 and DE50 droplets

Xdrop DE20 and DE50 droplets encapsulate cells along with their growth medium. Small molecules, such as carbon dioxide and water, can diffuse across the double-emulsion shell. However, large, complex molecules, such as cytokines, remain inside the droplet.

This means:

  • Incubation of cells within droplets is possible
  • No cross-talk occurs between cells in different droplets
  • No cell–cell interactions occur, except in experiments where cells are co-encapsulated
  • Cell secretions rapidly reach detectable levels thanks to the small volume

Essentially, cells can happily stay in DE20 or DE50 droplets for the duration of your experiments!


Happy mammalian cell DE50 droplet

Validating gene edits and more

Validating CRISPR edits and identifying CAR cassette insertions are essential to cell and gene therapy research. Xdrop and Xdrop Sort have protocols that support highly targeted long-read and short-read sequencing of DNA. The workflow involves encapsulating DNA for targeted enrichment in double-emulsion droplets, then sorting to capture the region of interest. Downstream sequencing reveals unintended on-target and off-target rearrangements that other methods cannot easily find.