The instrument described here is an all-electronic dielectrophoresis (DEP) cytometer sensitive to changes in polarizability of single cells. The important novel feature of this work is the differential electrode array that allows independent detection and actuation of single cells within a short section () of the microfluidic channel. DEP actuation modifies the altitude of the cells flowing between two altitude detection sites in proportion to cell polarizability; changes in altitude smaller than 0.25 μm can be detected electronically. Analysis of individual experimental signatures allows us to make a simple connection between the Clausius-Mossotti factor (CMF) and the amount of vertical cell deflection during actuation. This results in an all-electronic, label-free differential detector that monitors changes in physiological properties of the living cells and can be fully automated and miniaturized in order to be used in various online and offline probes and point-of-care medical applications. High sensitivity of the DEP cytometer facilitates observations of delicate changes in cell polarization that occur at the onset of apoptosis. We illustrate the application of this concept on a population of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells that were followed in their rapid transition from a healthy viable to an early apoptotic state. DEP cytometer viability estimates closely match an Annexin V assay (an early apoptosis marker) on the same population of cells.
Differential electronic detector to monitor apoptosis using dielectrophoresis-induced translation of flowing cells (dielectrophoresis cytometry)
Marija Nikolic-Jaric, Tim Cabel, Elham Salimi, Ashlesha Bhide, Katrin Braasch, Michael Butler, Greg E. Bridges, Douglas J. Thomson; Differential electronic detector to monitor apoptosis using dielectrophoresis-induced translation of flowing cells (dielectrophoresis cytometry). Biomicrofluidics 1 March 2013; 7 (2): 024101. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4793223
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