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Lab Chip. 2009 Oct 21;9(20):2881-9. doi: 10.1039/b910053a. Epub 2009 Aug 7.

Leukocyte analysis and differentiation using high speed microfluidic single cell impedance cytometry.

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School of Electronics and Computing Science, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK.


Miniature high speed label-free cell analysis systems have yet to be developed, but have the potential to deliver fast, inexpensive and simple full blood cell analysis systems that could be used routinely in clinical practice. We demonstrate a microfluidic single cell impedance cytometer that performs a white blood cell differential count. The device consists of a microfluidic chip with micro-electrodes that measure the impedance of single cells at two frequencies. Human blood, treated with saponin/formic acid to lyse erythrocytes, flows through the device and a complete blood count is performed in a few minutes. Verification of cell dielectric parameters was performed by simultaneously measuring fluorescence from CD antibody-conjugated cells. This enabled direct correlation of impedance signals from individual cells with phenotype. Tests with patient samples showed 95% correlation against commercial (optical/Coulter) blood analysis equipment, demonstrating the potential clinical utility of the impedance microcytometer for a point-of-care blood analysis system.

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