Improved Method of Flow Cytometry Using Acoustic and Pressure Waves

Principal Investigator: Thomas Matula

Flow cytometry is an established method of determining the size and physical characteristics of small particles (such as cells or microbubbles). This is done by passing the particles through a laser and measuring the scattered light. Additional information about the particles, such as viscosity and shear modulus, is sometimes desired, creating a need for modifying the method in order to obtain such information without requiring a separate testing apparatus.

In conventional cytometry, particles are sent in a jet through a laser beam. The light is scattered in a particular way by the particles. The measured scatter contains some information about the particle’s physical characteristics. The investigator has developed a technique in which acoustic or pressure energy perturbs the particles as they enter the measurement region, causing a physical response which scatters light in a different way. This dynamic response gives additional information about the particle’s physical characteristics, such as shell viscosity or shear modulus.

• The dynamical behavior of small particles can be characterized using this technology. 

• A better understanding of ultrasound contrast agents (which are small micron sized particles) used in medical diagnostic applications can be achieved using the proposed technique. 

• The technology can be used as a research tool for developing new particles. 

• This technology can be applied to the diagnosis of cell abnormalities. 

• The technology can measure particle properties not currently measurable using conventional cytometry. 

• The innovation builds on current cytometry technology and makes full use of current systems. 

• Acoustic and pressure transducers are readily available, making this a practical technology.


For more info, contact: Lisa Norton

  • swap_vertical_circlelibrary_booksReferences (1)
    1. Juan Tu, Jarred E. Swalwell, David Giraud, Weicheng Cui, Weizhong Chen, Thomas J. Matula (May 2011), Microbubble Sizing and Shell Characterization Using Flow Cytometry, IEEE, 58, 955 - 963
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