Go with the flow: advances and trends in magnetic flow cytometry
The growing need for biological information at the single cell level has driven the development of improved cytometry technologies. Flow cytometry is a particularly powerful method that has evolved over the past few decades. Flow cytometers have become essential instruments in biomedical research and routine clinical tests for disease diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment monitoring. However, the increasing number of cellular parameters unveiled by genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic data platforms demands an augmented multiplexability. Also, the need for identification and quantification of relevant biomarkers at low levels requires outstanding analytical sensitivity and reliability. In addition, growing awareness of the advantages associated with miniaturization of analytical devices is pushing forward the progress in integrated and compact, microfluidic-based devices at the point-of-care. In this context, novel types of flow cytometers are emerging during the search to tackle these challenges. Notwithstanding the relevance of other promising alternatives to standard optical flow cytometry (e.g., mass cytometry, various optical and electrical microcytometers), this report focuses on a recent microcytometric technology based on magnetic sensors and magnetic particles integrated into microfluidic structures for dynamic bioanalysis of fluid samples—magnetic flow cytometry. Its concept, main developments, targeted applications, as well as the challenges and trends behind this technology are presented and discussed.
KeywordsMagnetic flow cytometry Magnetic sensors Magnetic particles Microfluidics Point-of-care
Analog to digital converter
Giant magneto impedance
Magnetically assisted cell sorting
Magnetic flow cytometry
Magnetic resonance imaging
Magnetic tunnel junctions
Planar Hall effect
This work has received funding from European Structural & Investment Funds through the COMPETE Program and from National Funds through FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia under the grants SAICTPAC/0019/2015, MUSIC-PESSOA 2017-38027RF and MagScopy4IHC- LISBOA-01-0145-FEDER-031200. The authors acknowledge funding from the European Union through the project MAGNAMED- H2020-MSCA-RISE-2016 grant n. 734801. The authors R. Soares, D. M. Caetano and P. H. Fonseca, acknowledge their PhD grants, PD/BD/128205 /2016, PD/BD/128208/2016, PD/BD/135272/2017, respectively, funded through the Advanced Integrated Microsystems (AIM) doctoral program.
Compliance with ethical standards
No experiments involving human participants and/or animals have been conducted for this publication.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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