Four-part leukocyte differential count based on sheathless microflow cytometer and fluorescent dye assay†
Leukocyte differential count is one of the most frequently ordered clinical tests in hospitals. This paper reports a point-of-care test for the leukocyte count by using a microflow cytometer and a fluorescent dye assay. The dye assay relied on fluorescent detection alone to count leukocytes in blood and to identify leukocyte subtypes. By combining the fluorescent assay with a sheathless microflow design, the proposed method achieved a minimal sample volume by eliminating excessive dilution and sheath flow. In this paper, a four-part leukocyte differential count including lymphocyte, monocyte, neutrophil and eosinophil was demonstrated, and the whole test consumed only a small amount of blood (5 μL) and reagents (68 μL in total). The merits of minimal sample volume, long reagent shelf life and portable instrument made this method optimal for point-of-care applications.