Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering 2023; 28(6): 929-935  
Recent Progress in the Development of Droplet-based Microfluidic Technologies for Phenotypic Screening using Cell-cell Interactions
Seungjin Kim, Jo Hyun Moon, and Gyoo Yeol Jung
Seungjin Kim, Jo Hyun Moon, Gyoo Yeol Jung*
Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 37673, Korea
Tel: +82-54-279-2391; Fax: +82-54-279-5528
Gyoo Yeol Jung
School of Interdisciplinary Bioscience and Bioengineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 37673, Korea
Seungjin Kim and Jo Hyun Moon contributed equally to this work.
Received: March 11, 2022; Revised: May 24, 2022; Accepted: May 29, 2022; Published online: December 31, 2023.
© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Specific cell-cell interactions enable the complex metabolic tasks associated with natural microbial communities and facilitates their improved adaptation to environmental changes when compared to monocultures. Understanding these interactions can help resolve many of the underlying mechanisms regulating these complex microbial ecosystems and supply novel insights for various applications. However, the complexity of microbial interactions makes it difficult to evaluate them individually. However, droplet-based microfluidic methods can be used to compartmentalize individual responses to specific conditions in a massively parallel manner allowing for evaluations at a single-cell resolution. Moreover, individual droplets can be withdrawn from these systems without washing or dilution and can thus be used to determine the impact of specific substances used in intercellular interactions via further analysis such as next-generation sequencing or mass spectrometry. In this review, we summarized the recent progress around droplet-based microfluidic technologies for phenotypic characterization and screening using cell-cell interaction, which continues to diversify over time expanding its application to a variety of topics.
Keywords: droplet, microfluidic technologies, phenotypic screening, cell-cell interaction

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