High-throughput biophysical measurement of human red blood cells†
This paper reports a microfluidic system for biophysical characterization of red blood cells (RBCs) at a speed of 100–150 cells s−1. Electrical impedance measurement is made when single RBCs flow through a constriction channel that is marginally smaller than RBCs' diameters. The multiple parameters quantified as mechanical and electrical signatures of each RBC include transit time, impedance amplitude ratio, and impedance phase increase. Histograms, compiled from 84,073 adult RBCs (from 5 adult blood samples) and 82,253 neonatal RBCs (from 5 newborn blood samples), reveal different biophysical properties across samples and between the adult and neonatal RBC populations. In comparison with previously reported microfluidic devices for single RBC biophysical measurement, this system has a higher throughput, higher signal to noise ratio, and the capability of performing multi-parameter measurements.