The good, the bad, and the tiny: a review of microflow cytometry
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Ateya, D.A., Erickson, J.S., Howell, P.B. et al. Anal Bioanal Chem (2008) 391: 1485. doi:10.1007/s00216-007-1827-5
- 1.2k Downloads
Recent developments in microflow cytometry have concentrated on advancing technology in four main areas: (1) focusing the particles to be analyzed in the microfluidic channel, (2) miniaturization of the fluid-handling components, (3) miniaturization of the optics, and (4) integration and applications development. Strategies for focusing particles in a narrow path as they pass through the detection region include the use of focusing fluids, nozzles, and dielectrophoresis. Strategies for optics range from the use of microscope objectives to polymer waveguides or optical fibers embedded on-chip. While most investigators use off-chip fluidic control, there are a few examples of integrated valves and pumps. To date, demonstrations of applications are primarily used to establish that the microflow systems provide data of the same quality as laboratory systems, but new capabilities—such as automated sample staining—are beginning to emerge. Each of these four areas is discussed in detail in terms of the progress of development, the continuing limitations, and potential future directions for microflow cytometers.