Coplanar electrode microfluidic chip enabling accurate sheathless impedance cytometry†
Microfluidic impedance cytometry offers a simple non-invasive method for single-cell analysis. Coplanar electrode chips are especially attractive due to ease of fabrication, yielding miniaturized, reproducible, and ultimately low-cost devices. However, their accuracy is challenged by the dependence of the measured signal on particle trajectory within the interrogation volume, that manifests itself as an error in the estimated particle size, unless any kind of focusing system is used. In this paper, we present an original five-electrode coplanar chip enabling accurate particle sizing without the need for focusing. The chip layout is designed to provide a peculiar signal shape from which a new metric correlating with particle trajectory can be extracted. This metric is exploited to correct the estimated size of polystyrene beads of 5.2, 6 and 7 μm nominal diameter, reaching coefficient of variations lower than the manufacturers' quoted values. The potential impact of the proposed device in the field of life sciences is demonstrated with an application to Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast.