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Anal Sci. 2003 Jul;19(7):1065-9.

Single particle confocal fluorescence spectroscopy in microchannels: dependence of burst width and burst area distributions on particle size and flow rate.

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Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, South Kensington, London, SW7 2AZ, UK.


This article presents a non-invasive, optical technique for measuring particulate flow within microfluidic channels. Confocal fluorescence detection is used to probe single fluorescently labeled microspheres (200-930 nm diameter) passing through a focused laser beam at a variety of flow rates (100 - 1000 nL/min). Simple statistical methods are subsequently used to investigate the resulting fluorescence bursts and generate single-particle burst width and burst area distributions. Analysis of such distributions demonstrates that the average burst width and burst area decrease as particle size increases. In addition, both burst width and burst area (for a given particle size) are observed to decrease as volumetric flow rate is increased. The dependence of such distributions on particle size is proposed as a potential route to sizing single particles and molecules in microfluidic systems.

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