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Lab Chip. 2010 Jun 21;10(12):1567-73. doi: 10.1039/c000136h. Epub 2010 Apr 9.

Human mammalian cell sorting using a highly integrated micro-fabricated fluorescence-activated cell sorter (microFACS).

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Materials Science Engineering Program, 9500 Gilman Drive, Jacobs School of Engineering, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.


We demonstrate a high performance microfabricated FACS system with highly integrated microfluidics, optics, acoustics, and electronics. Single cell manipulation at a high speed is made possible by the fast response time (approximately 0.1 ms) of the integrated PZT actuator and the nozzle structure at the sorting junction. A Teflon AF-coated optofluidic waveguide along the microfluidic channel guides the illumination light, enabling multi-spot detection, while a novel space-time coding technology enhances the detection sensitivity of the microFACS system. The real-time control loop system is implemented using a field-programmable-gate-array (FPGA) for automated and accurate sorting. The microFACS achieves a high purification enrichment factor: up to approximately 230 fold for both polystyrene microbeads and suspended human mammalian cells (K562) at a high throughput (>1000 cells s(-1)). The sorting mechanism is independent of cell properties such as size, density, and shape, thus the presented system can be applied to sort out any pure sub-populations. This new lab-on-a-chip FACS system, therefore, holds promise to revolutionize microfluidic cytometers to meet cost, size, and performance goals.

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