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Issue 7, 2009
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Dielectric characterization of complete mononuclear and polymorphonuclear blood cell subpopulations for label-free discrimination

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Abstract

Dielectric spectroscopy is a powerful technique for the elucidation of a number of important cell biophysical properties, and it can provide information about cell morphology, physiological state, viability and identity. A high-impact application for dielectric cell analysis would be microfluidic flow-through impedance sensing to perform what is perhaps the most routinely ordered medical diagnostic assay, a complete blood count with white blood cell differential enumeration. To assess the biophysical feasibility of such an analysis, we obtained reference dielectric measurements of the complete complement of purified leukocyte subpopulations using the dielectrophoretic crossover frequency method. The sensitivity of this method can detect subtle changes in cell morphology and physiology, so we developed a leukocyte isolation protocol based on a suite of negative selection techniques to yield cell subpopulations that were minimally processed and in an as near native state as possible. This is the first reported study of the dielectric properties of all the major leukocyte subpopulations that includes separate analysis of the polymorphonuclear neutrophil, basophil and eosinophil cell types. We show that T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, monocytes and granulocytes possess distinct membrane dielectric properties and that the morphologically similar granulocyte subpopulations can be identified via their dielectric and size properties. Finally, we discuss the application of our findings to label-free systems for the analysis of leukocytes.

Graphical abstract: Dielectric characterization of complete mononuclear and polymorphonuclear blood cell subpopulations for label-free discrimination

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Mar 2009, accepted on 21 May 2009 and first published on 02 Jun 2009


Article type: Method
DOI: 10.1039/B906137A
Citation: Integr. Biol., 2009,1, 477-484
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    Dielectric characterization of complete mononuclear and polymorphonuclear blood cell subpopulations for label-free discrimination

    D. M. Vykoukal, P. R. C. Gascoyne and J. Vykoukal, Integr. Biol., 2009, 1, 477
    DOI: 10.1039/B906137A

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