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A4Cell Lab-in-a-cell devices now available from Thistle Scientific

publication date: Mar 21, 2023
author/source: Thistle Scientific







The ultimate solution for intracelullar single cell analysis

A4Cell offers innovative cellomic reagents, named CytoCHECK SPAchip® Detection Kits that enhance the value of in-vitro cell physiology assays used in Cell Imaging analysis.

A4Cell’s SPAchip® nanodevice is based on the use of inert Silicon microchips on which multiple highly concentrated fluorescent probes can be deposited to provide intracellular readouts over long culture periods following endocytosis.

With SPAchip® technology, you can detect biomolecules by fluorescence analysis during several days in the same cell culture at different time points for metabolic and phenotypic studies.

SPAchip® is the newest tool for intracellular monitoring of living single cells to improve the quality and accuracy of outcomes to cell studies in order to better understand disease behaviour.

Optimised SPAchip® kits are currently available for the detection of pH and caclium calcium concentration, but more kits are in development. If you have an assay you think could benefit from SPAchip® technology, please get in contact.


How does SPAchip® work?

Imagine having a lab inside a living single cell with the capacity to make any analysis in an instant and over a long periods of time. Now this is possible with SPAchip technology.

One of the technological challenges we face nowadays is to fully understand the critical role of metabolism in a wide variety of diseases

SPAchip offers the possibility to analyze several interactions among biomolecules at real time and  the capability to track cell processes over long time.

SPAchip® technology is set to become biomedicine’s new tool to surveil and monitor disease progression, individually assess new drug effects during screening studies and to become the future standard in personalized medicine.

A4Cell is developing a patented technology, Suspended-Planar Array chip (SPAchip®), that enables the functionalization and multiplexing of silicon microchips with fluorescent probes. These chips are easily internalized into the cell cytosol without altering the cell viability, thus overcoming the main constraints of current probes and therefore might revolutionise the way live cell analysis can be applied to drug discovery.

A4Cell has developed a technology platform able to manufacture and functionalise in a reproducible way these silicon microdevices with fluorescent probes. The main competitive advantages of the A4Cell platform are:

  1. SPAchip® geometry allows the covalent binding of multiple fluorescent probes to its surface (synthetic molecules, DNA /RNA, peptides, etc) and
  2. SPAchips® are optimal for working in an intracellular environment: volume in the range of μm3, easy to manipulate in suspension, demonstrated internalization by cells and, most importantly, they have the ability to remain in the cytosol for long periods of time, without altering cell viability.

Thanks to these unique features SPAchips® act as multiple “eyes” that allow scientists to see what is happening within a living single cell and help biopharmaceutical companies to obtain valuable insights about the performance of their drug candidates.


SPAchip® offers the possibility to perform living single cell assays as it is:

  • More sensitive by locally concentrating the fluorescent probe on the chip surface rather than in solution.
  • Less toxic by reducing the total cytoplasmic concentration of fluorescent probes.
  • Longer duration by fixing the probes on the chip and protecting them from dilution, excretion, or degradation.
  • Highly discriminant of cytoplasmic readouts vs signals from other cell compartments.
  • More informative by combining various probes on one chip simultaneously.
  • More efficient by discriminating signals based on their relative position on the chip rather than their wavelength.


Product Video



New Kits now available from Thistle Scientific

Thistle Scientific are proud to announce our appointment as exclusive distributors of SPAchip® kits in the UK & Ireland.


Browse the kits HERE

Recent news from Thistle Scientific



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