Flow cytometry is a useful tool that employed in diagnoses of various blood diseases, basic research, clinical trials or even as a “cell sorter” instrument. Currently, flow cytometry involves an elaborate arrangement of mirrors and filters to split the signals from the device into the different wavelengths. This setup often requires several lasers and multiple detection channels as well as skilled operators for the complex system.
Researchers at the University of Alberta have developed a new flow cytometry device based on a single fixed detector (e.g. a PMT) and a grating-based spectrometer lab-on-a-chip device. The method is based on the wavelength dependent quantity of the separation between the diffracted orders of the grating. By knowing the value of the spacing, the wavelength of a fluorescent particle can be determined from the linear wavelength-grating relationship. Conversely, if the wavelength of the particle is known, the particle’s velocity can be calculated by obtaining the corresponding particle spacing and using the elapsed time between the two orders from the PMT reading.
Azmayesh-Fard, S. M., et al., “A dynamic strategy for wavelength sensing using the diffracted orders of a grating,” Lab on a Chip, Issue 11 (2017) DOI: 1039/C7LC00259A.
- Only requires a single sensitive detector (PMT) rather than multiple detectors.
- Condensed, simple set up
- Reduces number of cells required in standard cytometry
The invention represents a valuable opportunity for use in health care, astronomy and physics. Specifically, this technology is ideal for lab-on-a-chip devices and an alternative for flow cytometry equipment. It could also be used an efficient cell sorter and counter.
Technology Management Group
TEC Edmonton – University of Alberta