On-the-flow differentiation between cells based on native fluorescence spectroscopy on a chip
Native fluorescence spectroscopy is a promising approach for the detection of pathogens without specific binding or tagging of the analyte. The distinction between different species is possible with (multi-color) UV excitation together with the detection of several spectral bands. We have developed a compact platform that combines a microfluidic quartz channel with chip-size wavelength-selective detection of the fluorescence from particles traversing the channel. The interaction between the UV excitation light and the analyte is enhanced by anti-resonantly guiding the light within fluid. We have recorded the intrinsic fluorescence of single cells (e.g. yeast, e-coli, and BT) passing the detection area. Knowing the particle speed and the physical dimensions of the observation window, we are able to determine particle positions with microscopic (~10 microns) resolution. A special modulation technique allows us to achieve a high signal to noise ratio even for high particle speeds. Combining our technique with a cell sorting mechanism would allow for on-the-chip characterization and sorting of untagged cells.
Beck, M.; Bassler, M.; Kiesel, P.; Johnson, N. M.; Schmidt, O. On-the-flow differentiation between cells based on native fluorescence spectroscopy on a chip. Special focus session on BioChip Physics at APS Meeting; 2008 March 10; New Orleans, LA.