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Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1256:171-90. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2172-0_12.

Opto-fluidics based microscopy and flow cytometry on a cell phone for blood analysis.

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Electrical Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA,


Blood analysis is one of the most important clinical tests for medical diagnosis. Flow cytometry and optical microscopy are widely used techniques to perform blood analysis and therefore cost-effective translation of these technologies to resource limited settings is critical for various global health as well as telemedicine applications. In this chapter, we review our recent progress on the integration of imaging flow cytometry and fluorescent microscopy on a cell phone using compact, light-weight and cost-effective opto-fluidic attachments integrated onto the camera module of a smartphone. In our cell-phone based opto-fluidic imaging cytometry design, fluorescently labeled cells are delivered into the imaging area using a disposable micro-fluidic chip that is positioned above the existing camera unit of the cell phone. Battery powered light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are butt-coupled to the sides of this micro-fluidic chip without any lenses, which effectively acts as a multimode slab waveguide, where the excitation light is guided to excite the fluorescent targets within the micro-fluidic chip. Since the excitation light propagates perpendicular to the detection path, an inexpensive plastic absorption filter is able to reject most of the scattered light and create a decent dark-field background for fluorescent imaging. With this excitation geometry, the cell-phone camera can record fluorescent movies of the particles/cells as they are flowing through the microchannel. The digital frames of these fluorescent movies are then rapidly processed to quantify the count and the density of the labeled particles/cells within the solution under test. With a similar opto-fluidic design, we have recently demonstrated imaging and automated counting of stationary blood cells (e.g., labeled white blood cells or unlabeled red blood cells) loaded within a disposable cell counting chamber. We tested the performance of this cell-phone based imaging cytometry and blood analysis platform by measuring the density of red and white blood cells as well as hemoglobin concentration in human blood samples, which showed a good match to our measurement results obtained using a commercially available hematology analyzer. Such a cell-phone enabled opto-fluidics microscopy, flow cytometry, and blood analysis platform could be especially useful for various telemedicine applications in remote and resource-limited settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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