Skip to main content

A Single Cell AnaLysis and Sorting Platform based on Lensfree digital imaging techniques applied to Rapid Detection of Cancer

Periodic Report Summary 2 - SCALPEL (A Single Cell AnaLysis and Sorting Platform based on Lensfree digital imaging techniques applied to Rapid Detection of Cancer)

The period spanning M1-M30 of this project included several important and novel achievements.

First, we successfully assembled a compact lens-free in-line holographic microscope and used it to image blood cells flowing in a microfluidic chip, using a high-speed camera and stroboscopic illumination. We employed numerical reconstruction of the captured holograms to classify unlabeled leukocytes into three main subtypes: lymphocytes, monocytes and granulocytes. A scale-space recognition analysis to evaluate cellular size and internal complexity was also developed and used to build a 3-part leukocyte differential. The lens-free image-based classification was compared to the 3-part white blood cell differential generated by using a conventional analyzer on the same blood sample and found to be in good agreement with it. These results are detailed in our manuscript published in the journal Lab on a Chip (doi: 10.1039/c4lc01131g).

We subsequently implemented additional improvements into our lens-free imaging platform, which allowed for acquisition of much higher data accuracy and development of a new set of image processing algorithms and classification methods. This led to another publication being submitted to PLoS ONE (Li Y, et al, Accurate label-free 3-part leukocyte recognition with a lens-free imaging flow cytometer, PLoS ONE, submitted).

We also reported fabrication of a microfluidic cell sorter allowing high rate and fully enclosed cell sorting. The sorter chip consisted of an array of micro heating hotspots. Pulsed resistive heating in the hotspots produced numerous micro vapor bubbles with short duration, giving rise to a rapid jet flow for cell sorting. We employed this method to demonstrate high sorting rate comparable to commercial FACS and the significant enrichment of rare cancer cells. This vapor bubble based cell sorting method can be a powerful tool for contamination-free and affordable clinical cell sorting such as circulating tumor cell isolation and cancer cell therapy. These results are detailed in our manuscript published in the journal Lab on a Chip (doi: 10.1039/c6lc01560c).