Date Published:2012 Jan 21
The combination of microscopy and flow cytometry enables image based screening of large collections of cells. Despite the proposition more than thirty years ago, adding high resolution wide-field imaging to flow cytometers remains challenging. The velocity of cells in flow cytometry can surpass a meter per second, requiring either sub-microsecond exposure times or other sophisticated photodetection techniques. Instead of faster detectors and brighter sources, we demonstrate that by imaging multiple channels simultaneously, a high throughput can be maintained with a flow velocity reduced in proportion to the degree of parallelization. The multi-field of view imaging flow cytometer (MIFC) is implemented with parallel arrays of microfluidic channels and diffractive lenses that produce sixteen wide field images with a magnification of 45 and submicron resolution. Using this device, we have imaged latex beads, red blood cells, and acute myeloid leukemia cells at rates of 2,000-20,000 per second.