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[Scientific Reports] High performance micro-flow cytometer based on optical fibres


Flow cytometry is currently the gold standard for analysis of cells in the medical laboratory and biomedical research. Fuelled by the need of point-of-care diagnosis, a significant effort has been made to miniaturize and reduce cost of flow cytometers. However, despite recent advances, current microsystems remain less versatile and much slower than their large-scale counterparts. In this work, an all-silica fibre microflow cytometer is presented that measures fluorescence and scattering from particles and cells. It integrates cell transport in circular capillaries and light delivery by optical fibres. Single-stream cell focusing is performed by Elasto-inertial microfluidics to guarantee accurate and sensitive detection. The capability of this technique is extended to high flow rates (up to 800 µl/min), enabling a throughput of 2500 particles/s. The robust, portable and low-cost system described here could be the basis for a point-of-care flow cytometer with a performance comparable to commercial systems.

S. Etcheverry, A. Faridi, H. Ramachandraiah, T. Kumar, W. Margulis, F. Laurell & A. Russom Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 5628 (2017) doi:10.1038/s41598-017-05843-7

Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-05843-7

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