Hand-Held Flow Cytometer


Novel optofluidics technology for onsite diagnostics

Flow cytometry is a method commonly used in clinical and research settings to examine the characteristics of biological cells. The bio-particles are guided one by one through a focused laser beam with sheath fluid and are characterized by fluorescence and light scattering. Currently, flow cytometers are large, expensive and often located in centralized laboratories. PARC’s “spatially modulated emission” technique enables a hand-held flow cytometer for high-performance on-site diagnostics at low cost, while maintaining testing speed and high signal-to-noise discrimination.

1. Hand-held flow cytometer


  • CD4 monitoring in whole blood
  • Pathogen detection in water
  • Somatic cell counts in milk
  • Differential white blood cell counting
  • Food monitoring
  • Bacteria detection
  • Industrial process control

How the Technology Works

PARC’s hand-held flow cytometer uses only off-the-shelf components. Integrated in the flow cytometer is PARC’s proprietary “spatially modulated emission” technology, which generates a time-dependent signal when a fluorescing particle travels across a channel in a fluidic chip. The fluidic chip has an
embedded patterned mask, which modulates the intensity of the fluorescent light directed to a large-area detector. A filter is placed between the channel and the detector to block the excitation light from being detected. The resulting signals are compared to expected particle signatures to obtain particle counts and analyte volume. With PARC’s technology, no complex alignment is necessary between the fluidic chip and the detector since a patterned mask is embedded in the fluidic chip. In addition, PARC’s unique correlation techniques allow high signal-to-noise discrimination without compromising the testing speed.

PARC is interested in working with commercial partners who want to use our technology for new applications or products.

Contact PARC

Additional information

Focus Areas

Our work is centered around a series of Focus Areas that we believe are the future of science and technology.

Licensing & Commercialization Opportunities

We’re continually developing new technologies, many of which are available for Commercialization.


PARC scientists and staffers are active members and contributors to the science and technology communities.