Our instruments are based on an inkjet-like technology. The system generates miniature, free-flying droplets from a microfluidic chip (1). Inside the chip (part of the dispensing cartridge) all sample cells (2) are stored. The system works as a direct displacement dispenser, meaning that a droplet can be generated on demand. A microscope objective lens and a camera are used to look into the chip, directly at the cells. An image of the cells is taken in the nozzle, or the lower part of the chip and where droplets are ejected from.Once an image has been captured, an image–processing algorithm detects all cells immediately. It counts the cells and classifies them according to morphology, including size and roundness. Then a droplet is generated and everything that is inside the nozzle is ejected in this droplet. The system does not control the droplet’s consistency, but it identifies what the droplet contains. The data is then used to separate droplets with single cells.To sort the droplets, a pneumatic shutter system located directly under the nozzle is used (3). When a droplet that contains a single cell (4) is generated, it is allowed to pass onto the substrate (5). All empty and multiple cell droplets are captured by the shutter and disposed of.High resolution optics and software algorithm detect a single cell in the nozzle.Droplet with a single cell is ejected while pneumatic shutter is closed.Droplet with a single cell lands in the dedicated well.High resolution optics and software algorithm detect more than one cell in the nozzle.Droplet with more than one cell is ejected and immediately deflected into waste by pneumatic shutter.High resolution optics and software algorithm detect no cell in the nozzle.Empty droplet is ejected and immediately deflected into waste by pneumatic shutter.