Molecular Machines & Industries


CellEctor – Capillary Cell Sorting

Selective isolation of single cells

The MMI CellEctor greatly facilitates the precise isolation of single and rare cells in suspension, even from tiny sample sources, and enables you to perform powerful and significant molecular analysis of a specific subset of cells.

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"At Simfo, we are interested in analyzing molecular profile of circulating tumor cells (CTCs), because CTCs reflect the real status of tumor genotypes. CTCs exhibit high heterogeneity within a patient and for this reason we analyze individual CTCs for KRAS, BRAF and EGFR mutations.

The MMI CellEctor instrument allows us to precisely select single CTCs from patient samples in order to individually analyze their genomic integrity – an important pre-requisite for our research."

Dr. Monika Pizon SIMFO Spezielle Immunologie Forschung + Entwicklung GmbH
Bayreuth, Germany

„Here at the DMSZ (research group VirusInteract) it is our special emphasis to analyze the very early events of virus infection in plant tissue. Thus we first identify the initial point of plant virus infection, isolate this area with the MMI CellCut system and subsequently analyze this sample with a multi-omics approach. The MMI CellCut system is elementary for our research because it enables us to select and investigate even single infected plant nuclei. In addition we use the MMI CellEctor to collect protoplasts from liquid media to generate new plants from a single cell.”

Dr. Khalid Amari Baba Leibniz-Institut DSMZ-Deutsche Sammlungvon Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen GmbH
Nachwuchsgruppe VirusInteract (Dr. Björn Krenz)
Braunschweig, Germany

Download the Application Notes on the MMI CellEctor

Selective Isolation of Adherent Single Cells

More Application Notes will follow soon!


The MMI CellEctor is a microscope-based micro-capillary single cell sorting system for rapid recognition, acquisition and deposition of single or rare cells in suspension.

The highly precise MMI CellPump enables single cell isolation even in nanoliter volumes. Since the system is fully motorized and computer controlled, it offers complete control in manual and automated cell recognition, acquisition and deposition modes.

All accessories were developed in consultation with MMI CellEctor users to offer a workflow which is compatible with common downstream molecular analyses. Thus, single cells can be deposited onto reaction slides or directly into PCR tubes, IBIDI style chambers or microfluidic devices. User defined liquid handling programmes enable the development of dedicated cleaning and service cycles for capillary cleaning and maintenance.

The MMI CellEctor is highly modular and can be mounted on numerous microscope brands from entry level, mid-range to high-end instruments.

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Applications & Workflow

The MMI CellEctor can be applied in various different research projects:

  • where the precise selection and isolation of cells or any other particles from suspension is required
  • where the separate analysis of specific fractions of your material is essential to produce significant data

Typical applications include:

  • Cancer Research & Oncology
  • Molecular Pathology
  • Immunology
  • Stem Cell Research
  • Biomedical Research
  • Cellular Diagnostics
  • Microbiology & Virology
  • Environmental Ecology
  • Forensics
  • Material Sciences

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1. Select and recognize your cells – supported with full video control

Place an aliquot of the sample of cells in suspension directly onto a standard glass slide. Visualize the cells in either bright-field or fluorescence. Mark the cell of interest by clicking with the mouse. Alternatively, you can use the autodetection mode of the MMI CellExplorer software designed for the automated recognition of single cells based on their colour, morphology and relative size.

2. Acquire your cells – capillary pick-up with one-click routine

A glass capillary is used to selectively aspirate the cells of interest in nanoliter volumes. The capillary is controlled by a high precision 3D robotic arm and ultra-precise pump which can be both used in full manual mode, semi or fully automatically.

3. Deposit your cells – automatically into predefined target wells

Single cells in suspension can be collected under full visual control either manually or automatically onto a wide range of slide based platforms including IBIDI, PCR tubes, a microfluidic or other molecular analysis device. This workflow is compatible with most downstream applications such as FISH, IHC, ISH, immuno-fluorescence staining, Single Cell PCR and sequencing.

Features & Benefits

  • Accurate and precise cell isolation and deposition by microscope based and software controlled capillary navigation
  • Contamination-free isolation of cells in small volumes using a proprietary nanoliter pump
  • Full process control of cell identification, acquisition and deposition with bright-field or fluorescence automated detection of cells
  • Flexible and easy handling with manual or automated workflow options

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Head Office Germany

Molecular Machines and Industries GmbH

Breslauer Strasse 2

D – 85386 Eching

+49 89 319 048 40

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