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Scientific reports

Imaging Cells in Flow Cytometer Using Spatial-Temporal Transformation.


PMID 26281956

Abstract

Flow cytometers measure fluorescence and light scattering and analyze multiple physical characteristics of a large population of single cells as cells flow in a fluid stream through an excitation light beam. Although flow cytometers have massive statistical power due to their single cell resolution and high throughput, they produce no information about cell morphology or spatial resolution offered by microscopy, which is a much wanted feature missing in almost all flow cytometers. In this paper, we invent a method of spatial-temporal transformation to provide flow cytometers with cell imaging capabilities. The method uses mathematical algorithms and a spatial filter as the only hardware needed to give flow cytometers imaging capabilities. Instead of CCDs or any megapixel cameras found in any imaging systems, we obtain high quality image of fast moving cells in a flow cytometer using PMT detectors, thus obtaining high throughput in manners fully compatible with existing cytometers. To prove the concept, we demonstrate cell imaging for cells travelling at a velocity of 0.2 m/s in a microfluidic channel, corresponding to a throughput of approximately 1,000 cells per second.

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