Microfluidic Flow Cytometer For High Throughput Label Free Cell Analysis
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Microfluidic flow cytometer for high throughput label free cell analysis is proposed. Detection of cell morphology plays an important role in determination of state of health and diagnosis of many diseases such as sickle cell anemia, cancer, urine analysis, blood analysis etc. The platform proposed integrates label free cell analysis, microfluidic platform and high throughput imaging. Label free analysis helps in analyzing cells without altering cell/protein of interest and also allows biophysical characterization of living cells. Microfluidic platform used is fabricated from soft lithography. It mimics biological environment due to its channel confinement and is biocompatible. Being optically clear (PDMS), it is an excellent platform to image cells. High throughput cell imaging is achieved with phase contrast interferometer which can generate a phase map of important morphology parameters. Practically a throughput 20,000 cells/sec can be achieved using this setup. Optical setup with microfluidic platform can be integrated with surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) for molecular detection. Although, setup proposed is suitable for any cell analysis application, it is ideal for circulating tumor cell which are just handful in a sample. High sensitivity of optical setup allows efficient detection of low population cells in a given sample.