A system for reliably and reproducibly exposing the contents of a biological cell to an analysis instrument comprising a sample handling unit that includes a first substrate with first substrate face and a second substrate with second substrate face. The first substrate face and the second substrate face are opposed. The biological cell is positioned between the first substrate face and the second substrate face. A framework with a mechanism for applying a range of pressures to the first substrate face and the second substrate face reliably and reproducibly exposes the contents of the biological cell to the analysis instrument.
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.