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.
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