20 February 2018 Design of portable ultraminiature flow cytometers for medical diagnostics
Author Affiliations +
Design of portable microfluidic flow/image cytometry devices for measurements in the field (e.g. initial medical diagnostics) requires careful design in terms of power requirements and weight to allow for realistic portability. True portability with high-throughput microfluidic systems also requires sampling systems without the need for sheath hydrodynamic focusing both to avoid the need for sheath fluid and to enable higher volumes of actual sample, rather than sheath/sample combinations. Weight/power requirements dictate use of super-bright LEDs with top-hat excitation beam architectures and very small silicon photodiodes or nanophotonic sensors that can both be powered by small batteries. Signal-to-noise characteristics can be greatly improved by appropriately pulsing the LED excitation sources and sampling and subtracting noise in between excitation pulses.

Microfluidic cytometry also requires judicious use of small sample volumes and appropriate statistical sampling by microfluidic cytometry or imaging for adequate statistical significance to permit real-time (typically in less than 15 minutes) initial medical decisions for patients in the field. This is not something conventional cytometry traditionally worries about, but is very important for development of small, portable microfluidic devices with small-volume throughputs. It also provides a more reasonable alternative to conventional tubes of blood when sampling geriatric and newborn patients for whom a conventional peripheral blood draw can be problematical. Instead one or two drops of blood obtained by pin-prick should be able to provide statistically meaningful results for use in making real-time medical decisions without the need for blood fractionation, which is not realistic in the doctor’s office or field.
Conference Presentation
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James F. Leary, James F. Leary, } "Design of portable ultraminiature flow cytometers for medical diagnostics", Proc. SPIE 10497, Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues XVI, 104970U (20 February 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2286545; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2286545

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