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Counting cells with a low-cost integrated microfluidics-waveguide sensor.


ABSTRACT: The capability to count cells from biofluids at low cost has important diagnostic implications in resource-poor settings. Many approaches have been developed to address this important need, and while most envision a low per-test cost, the detector instrument can be quite expensive. In this report, we present a novel device that enables low-cost and rapid counting of cells from a drop of blood. We demonstrate a shallow, buried, planar waveguide fabricated by ion exchange in glass that underlies a microfluidic structure for capturing cells. Laser light transmitted through the waveguide was attenuated by the number of metal nanoparticles tagged to the cells because of the interaction of the metal particles with the evanescent field of the waveguide. Calibration of the sensor using bead-tagged lymphocytes captured from human blood showed that the sensor could semi-quantitatively count as few as 100 cells/µL of blood. This technology enables the enumeration of specifically captured cells, allowing for a point-of-care, hand-held device for fast and affordable cell counting in screening, remote, or resource-poor settings.

SUBMITTER: Garcia D 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3313547 | BioStudies | 2012-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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