Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Got flow cytometry? All you need is five bucks and a cell phone

Date:
July 27, 2011
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Researchers have demonstrated the integration of an imaging cytometry and florescent microscopy on a cell phone using a compact, light-weight and cost-effective optofluidic attachment. The cell phone enabled optofluidic imaging flow cytometer could be used for rapid and sensitive imaging of bodily fluids for conducting various cell counts or rare cell analysis.

OzcanCellCytometer.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - Los Angeles

Flow cytometry, a technique for counting and examining cells, bacteria and other microscopic particles, is used routinely in diagnosing disorders, infections and cancers and evaluating the progression of HIV and AIDS. But flow cytometers are big, bulky contraptions that cost tens of thousands of dollars, making them less than ideal for health care in the field or other settings where resources are limited.

Related Articles


Now imagine you could achieve the same results using a device that weighs about half an ounce and costs less than five dollars.

Researchers at the BioPhotonics Laboratory at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a compact, lightweight and cost-effective optofluidic platform that integrates imaging cytometry and florescent microscopy and can be attached to a cell phone. The resulting device can be used to rapidly image bodily fluids for cell counts or cell analysis.

The research, which was led by Aydogan Ozcan, a professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, is currently available online in the journal Analytical Chemistry.

"In this work, we developed a cell phone-based imaging cytometry device with a very simple optical design, which is very cost-effective and easy to operate," said Hongying Zhu, a UCLA Engineering postdoctoral scholar at the BioPhotonics Lab and co-author of the research. "It has great potential to be used in resource-limited regions to help people there improve the quality of their health care."

The device is the latest advance by Ozcan's research team, which has developed a number of innovative, scaled-down, cell phone-based technologies that have the potential to transform global health care.

"We have more than 5 billion cell phone subscribers around the world today, and because of this, cell phones can now play a central role in telemedicine applications," Ozcan said. "Our research group has already created a very nice set of tools, including cell phone microscopes, that can potentially replace most of the advanced instruments used currently in laboratories."

How it works

Ozcan's group integrated compact optical attachments to create the optofluidic fluorescent cytometry platform. The platform, which weighs only 18 grams, includes:

  • 1 simple lens (less than $3)
  • 1 plastic color filter (less than $1)
  • 2 LEDs (less than 30 cents each)
  • Simple batteries

The microfluidic assembly is placed just above a separate, inexpensive lens that is put in contact with the cell phone's existing camera unit. This way, the entire cross-section of the microfluidic device can be mapped onto the phone's CMOS sensor-chip. The sample fluid is delivered continuously through a disposable microfluidic channel via a syringe pump.

The device is illuminated from the side by the LEDs using a simple butt-coupling technique. The excitation light is then guided within the cross-section of the device, uniformly exciting the specimens in the imaging fluid. The optofluidic pumping scheme also allows for the use of an inexpensive plastic absorption filter to create the dark-field background needed for fluorescent imaging.

In addition, video post-processing and contour-detection and tracking algorithms are used to count and label the cells or particles passing through the microfluidic chip.

In order to demonstrate proof-of-concept for the new platform, the team used the device to measure the density of white blood cells in human whole-blood samples, as white blood cell density is routinely tested to diagnosis various diseases and infections, including leukemia, HIV and bone marrow deficiencies.

"For the next step, we'd like to explore other potential applications of this device," Zhu said. "For example, we also want to utilize this device to count potential waterborne parasites for water-quality monitoring."

"We'd like to translate our devices for testing in the field and start using them in places they're supposed to be used," Ozcan said. "So I think the next stage for several of our technologies, including this one, is to deploy and test them in extremely poor-resource countries."

This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Gates Foundation and the Vodafone Americas Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. The original article was written by Wileen Wong Kromhout. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hongying (Kellie) Zhu, Sam Mavandadi, Ahmet F. Coskun, Oguzhan Yaglidere, Aydogan Ozcan. Optofluidic fluorescent imaging cytometry on a cell-phone. Analytical Chemistry, 2011; 110720084654065 DOI: 10.1021/ac201587a

Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Got flow cytometry? All you need is five bucks and a cell phone." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110726190109.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2011, July 27). Got flow cytometry? All you need is five bucks and a cell phone. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110726190109.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Got flow cytometry? All you need is five bucks and a cell phone." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110726190109.htm (accessed November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

You Now 'Get' No-Cost Downloads In Apple's App Store

You Now 'Get' No-Cost Downloads In Apple's App Store

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Apple has changed its App Store wording from "Free" to "Get," as the European Commission and Federal Trade Commission seek to protect consumers. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Firefox Boots Google As Default Search, Partners With Yahoo

Firefox Boots Google As Default Search, Partners With Yahoo

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Mozilla on Wednesday announced it would be replacing Google with Yahoo as Firefox's default search provider. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nielsen Ratings Could Be Bad News For Netflix

Nielsen Ratings Could Be Bad News For Netflix

Newsy (Nov. 19, 2014) Streaming services probably aren't happy about Nielsen's plans to begin tracking their viewership next month. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madrid Hosts 14th World Congress on Humanoid Robots

Madrid Hosts 14th World Congress on Humanoid Robots

AFP (Nov. 19, 2014) 14th World Congress on humanoid robots in full swing under the theme "Humans and robots face-to-face" Duration: 01:08 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins