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Multiplexed Spectral Signature Detection for Microfluidic Color-Coded Bioparticle Flow

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journal contribution
posted on 15.11.2010, 00:00 by Nien-Tsu Huang, Steven C. Truxal, Yi-Chung Tung, Amy Y. Hsiao, Gary D. Luker, Shuichi Takayama, Katsuo Kurabayashi
Here, we report a high-speed photospectral detection technique capable of discriminating subtle variations of spectral signature among fluorescently labeled cells and microspheres flowing in a microfluidic channel. The key component used in our study is a strain-tunable nanoimprinted grating microdevice coupled with a photomultiplier tube (PMT). The microdevice permits acquisition of the continuous spectral profiles of multiple fluorescent emission sources at 1 kHz. Optically connected to a microfluidic flow chamber via a multimode optical fiber, our multiwavelength detection platform allows for cytometric measurement of cell groups emitting nearly identical fluorescence signals with a maximum emission wavelength difference as small as 5 nm. The same platform also allows us to demonstrate microfluidic flow cytometry of four different microsphere types in a wavelength bandwidth as narrow as 40 nm at a high (>85%) confidence level. Our study shows that detection of fluorescent spectral signatures at high speed and high resolution can expand specificity of multicolor flow cytometry. The enhanced capability enables multiplexed analysis of color-coded bioparticles based on single-laser excitation and single-detector spectroscopy in a microfluidic setting. The fluorescence signal discrimination power achieved by the optofluidic technology holds great promise to enable quantification of cellular parameters with higher accuracy as well as enumeration of a larger number of cell types than conventional flow cytometric methods.