Fluidigm Corp. and Axon Instruments Inc. are collaborating to solve what has been a difficult problem in biology: high throughput screening of single live eukaryotic cells. The deal will combine Fluidigm's silicone elastomer "rubber chips" and Axon's ion channel instrumentation. If they are successful, the resulting chips would enable scientists to do a wider ranger of experiments on single live cells in a high throughput environment.

In conventional microfluidic chips, liquids can be moved in a variety of ways. One of the most frequently used is electric forces. But this requires putting cells in an electrolytic solution, which is not necessarily a natural environment