Sunday, June 16, 2013

Laser guidance–based cell detection in a microfluidic biochip

Wan Qin; Lucas Schmidt; Xiaoqi Yang; Lina Wei; Ting Huang; Julie X. Yuan; Xiang Peng; Xiaocong Yuan; Bruce Z. Gao

We developed a microfluidic biochip to perform laser guidance on two cell types, chick embryonic forebrain neurons and spinal cord neurons. Observation of neurons under a high-magnification microscope, which we obtained from these two cell types, showed no difference in morphology. However, when flowing in the microfluidic channel and simultaneously being laser guided, the two cell types gained quite different guidance speeds under the same experimental conditions. The results demonstrate that different cell types with the same morphology (e.g., size, shape, etc.) can be effectively distinguished from each other by measuring the difference in guidance speeds (the maximum flow speed minus the initial flow speed). This technique is expected to provide a new approach to high-throughput, label-free cell sorting with high sensitivity.
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