A microflow cytometer exploited for the immunological differentiation of leukocytes



In this article, we demonstrate the potential of a microfluidic chip for the differentiation of immunologically stained blood cells. To this end, white blood cells stained with antibodies typically applied for the determination of the immune status were measured in the micro-device. Relative concentrations of lymphocytes and subpopulations of lymphocytes are compared to those obtained with a conventional flow cytometer. The stability of the hydrodynamic focusing and the optical setup was determined by measuring the variation of the signal pulse height of fluorescence calibration beads, being about 2% for the micro-device. This value and the overall performance of the micro-device are similar to conventional flow cytometers. It follows from our results that such microfluidic structures are well suited as modules in a compact, portable read-out instrument. The production process of the microflow cytometers, which we exploited for immunological cell differentiation, is compatible with mass production technology like injection molding and, hence, low cost disposable chips could be available in the future. © 2011 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry