Micropipette Aspiration Package


    A complete setup for starting micropipette aspiration experiments

    The Fluigent micropipette aspiration package allows users to manipulate and characterize cells at the single-cell level. It is a powerful non-invasive technique to evaluate how the biomechanical properties of single cells or tissues govern cell shape, cell response to mechanical stimuli, the transition from non tumorigenic to tumorigenic state, or morphogenesis.

    Micropipette Aspiration Package
    Main benefits
    • compact
      High sensitivity and resolution

      Pressure control

    • Time saving

      Non-invasive method

    • Cost-effective

      Easy to build and operate

    Features of the Micropipette Aspiration Package

    Extreme precision

    Fluigent instruments are the only products with the ability to control small pressure increments (0.007 mbar) at low pressure (0.1-10 mbar). They allow the investigation of subcellular dynamics like cytoskeleton structural and organizational modifications that are not accessible with confocal microscopy.

    Pressure control

    Manual aspiration causes inter-operator variability as the applied pressure cannot be exactly quantified. In contrast, Fluigent pressure regulators deliver the set pressure with +/- 0.1% precision.

    Engineered package

    Fluigent’s Micropipette aspiration package is compact, can fit any microscope and micropipette, and is controlled by an intuitive software package. Competitive technologies like AFM, cytoindenter, and optical tweezers are expensive, necessitate specific training, and may require a dedicated microscope.


    Micropipette aspiration allows for repetitive measurements on the same sample. Variations in cell tension of individual cells within a tissue can be monitored over time.

    Repeat experiments

    Thanks to Fluigent’s product responsiveness, a given pressure is instantaneously applied on the cell’s surface (ms range).

    Cell surface tension can be measured in 3 to 5 minutes.

    Related applications

    Applications of Micropipette Aspiration Package

    Microaspiration has been used to manipulate and probe living materials for decades. The contribution of this method to our modern understanding of cell and tissue mechanics is invaluable.

    Cell and tissue mechanical properties are paramount in controlling morphogenesis. Microaspiration techniques allow measuring the absolute values of mechanical properties in space and time in vivo. 

    At the cellular scale, microaspiration allows the mapping in space and time of surface tensions of individual interfaces within a tissue to understand the forces shaping it. At the tissue scale, microaspiration can be used to measure macroscopic mechanical properties such as viscoelasticity and tissue surface tension that regulate the dynamics of tissue deformation. Here are several applications that can be implemented in your laboratory using Fluigent’s pumping technology and expertise.

    • Cell mechanical properties measurement: Many biological processes are characterized by changes in cell stiffness: cells entering mitosis [1], tumor cells transitioning to premalignant stage [2], red blood cells infected with malaria [3]… These changes occur at cell scale and require precise measurement to accurately quantify cell stiffness. A Dual pipette aspiration assay is a tool to evaluate the relative contribution of cell-cell tension versus cell-medium tension at the cell-cell interface by separating contacting cells (Maitre et al Sciences 2012).
    • Single cell manipulation: Micropipette aspiration allows spatial positioning of single cells or clusters of cells. Single cell positioning is necessary for single cell analysis or clonal cell line development.
    • Tension heterogeneity within tissue: Evaluating cell tension at the single cell level allows for mapping of tensions within a tissue. It is particularly useful to investigate the forces driving tissue morphogenesis or embryogenesis ( Maitre et al, 2016, Nature)
    • In vitro diagnostic: Our micropipette aspiration package allows the measurement of stiffness at cellular resolution, a powerful tool for detecting anomalous behavior that is not accessible or detectable under the microscope. As an example, mechanical properties can predict the viability of embryos within hours after fertilization even though viable and non-viable embryos are morphologically indistinguishable at this stage [4]
    micropipette aspiration package

    Pressure are the gold standard for microaspiration

    Micropipette aspiration requires high control over the forces applied to cells. A fast response time is necessary as transitional states should be minimized.

    The microaspiration technique relies on the accurate calibration of the aspiration pressure. Only Fluigent’s micropipette aspiration package can provide products with pressure ranges of 0 – (+/-) 25 mbar, or 0 – (+/-) 69 mbar, to apply small pressure increments (0.007 mbar) at low pressure (0.1 -10 mbar).

    The Flow EZ™ pressure controllers are particularly suited as this method requires applying forces ranging from 10pN to 1nN accurately.

    Perform this application with high precision using our products. 


    [1] Théry M, Bornens M, Get round and stiff. 2008, HFSP J, 2(2):65-71.

    [2] Tavares S et al, actin stress fiber organization promotes cell stiffening and proliferation of pre-invasive breast cancer cells. 2017, Nat Commun. 8:15237.

    [3] Guo Q et al, Microfluidic biomechanical assay for red blood cells parasitized by Plasmodium falciparum. 2012, Lab Chip; 12(6):1143-50.

    [4] Yanez LZ et al, human oocyte developmental potential is predicted by mechanical properties within hours after fertilization, 2016, Nat Commun. 7:10809

    Main products of the package


    LineUp Flow EZ pressure controller (-25 mbar) x1
    LineUp LINK Module (software control) x1
    Fluiwell-1C-15 ml HPMFCS (15 mL fluid reservoir)
    Compact Vacuum Pump x1
    Complete Linear Stage for reservoir displacement x1
    Tubing & fitting kit (from the reservoir to the micropipette holder) x1

    Additional items required for micropipette aspiration experiments (not included in Fluigent package)

    ProductCat. #CompanyLink
    MicropipetteES-Blastocyst Injection Pipettes – BluntBiomedical InstrumentsBiomedical Instruments
    Micromanipulator (you can choose between one of the two selected micromanipulatorsMMO-4 (upgraded MMO-202ND)NarishigeNarishige
    Micromanipulator (you can choose between one of the two selected micromanipulatorsTransfertMan 4rEppendorfEppendorf


    Control in real-time, protocol automation, data record and export
    ver. or more recent

    See the offer

    Software Development Kit

    Custom software application
    ver. or more recent

    See the offer

    Expertise & resources

    Protocol for building the micro-aspiration system and how to use it for subcellular surface tension mapping

    Guevorkian K,Maître JL.Micropipette aspiration: A unique tool for exploring cell and tissue mechanics in vivo. MethodsCellBiol. 2017;139:187-201

    Selected publications from our customers

    Maître JL et al, Asymmetric division of contractile domains couples cell positioning and fate specification, Nature. 2016 Aug 18;536(7616):344-34

    Biro M, Maître JL, Dual pipette aspiration: a unique tool for studying intercellular adhesion. Methods CellBiol. 2015;125:255-67

    Porazinski S et al, YAP is essential for tissue tension to ensure vertebrate 3D body shape. Nature. 2015 May 14;521(7551):217-221

    Maître JL et al, Pulsatile cell-autonomous contractility drives compaction in the mouse embryo. Nat Cel lBiol. 2015 Jul;17(7):849-55

    Maître JL et al, Adhesion functions in cell sorting by mechanically coupling the cortices of adhering cells. Science. 2012;338(6104):253-6