3D-printed smartphone-based point of care tool for fluorescence- and magnetophoresis-based cytometry
In developing countries, there are often limited resources available to provide important medical diagnostics, which severely limits our ability to diagnose conditions and administer proper treatment, leading to high mortality rates for treatable conditions. Here, we propose a multiplex tool capable of density-based cell sorting via magnetic focusing in parallel with fluorescence imaging to provide highly specific clinical assays. While many cell sorting techniques and fluorescence microscopes generally are costly and require extensive user training, limiting accessibility and usability in developing countries, this device is compact, low-cost, and portable. The device can separate cells on the basis of density, which can be used to identify cell type and cell activity, and image the cells in either brightfield, darkfield, or fluorescent imaging modes using the built-in smartphone camera. The combination of these two powerful and versatile techniques – magnetic focusing and fluorescence imaging – will make this platform broadly applicable to a range of biomedical assays. Clinical applications include cell cytometry and immunocytochemistry-based assays in limited-resource settings, which can ultimately help to improve worldwide accessibility to medical diagnostics.