Toronto Metropolitan University
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Simultaneous acoustic and photoacoustic microfluidic flow cytometry for label-free analysis

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posted on 2023-08-24, 21:38 authored by Vaskar Gnyawali, Eric M. Strohm, Jun-Zhi Wang, Scott TsaiScott Tsai, Michael KoliosMichael Kolios

We developed a label-free microfluidic acoustic flow cytometer (AFC) based on interleaved detection of ultrasound backscatter and photoacoustic waves from individual cells and particles flowing through a microfluidic channel. The AFC uses ultra-high frequency ultrasound, which has a center frequency of 375 MHz, corresponding to a wavelength of 4 μm, and a nanosecondpulsed laser, to detect individual cells. We validate the AFC by using it to count different color polystyrene microparticles and comparing the results to data from fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). We also identify and count red and white blood cells in a blood sample using the AFC, and observe an excellent agreement with results obtained from FACS. This new label-free, non-destructive technique enables rapid and multi-parametric studies of individual cells of a large heterogeneous population using parameters such as ultrasound backscatter, optical absorption, and physical properties, for cell counting and sizing in biomedical and diagnostics applications.


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