Issue 13, 2020

Intelligent image-activated cell sorting 2.0


The advent of intelligent image-activated cell sorting (iIACS) has enabled high-throughput intelligent image-based sorting of single live cells from heterogeneous populations. iIACS is an on-chip microfluidic technology that builds on a seamless integration of a high-throughput fluorescence microscope, cell focuser, cell sorter, and deep neural network on a hybrid software–hardware data management architecture, thereby providing the combined merits of optical microscopy, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), and deep learning. Here we report an iIACS machine that far surpasses the state-of-the-art iIACS machine in system performance in order to expand the range of applications and discoveries enabled by the technology. Specifically, it provides a high throughput of ∼2000 events per second and a high sensitivity of ∼50 molecules of equivalent soluble fluorophores (MESFs), both of which are 20 times superior to those achieved in previous reports. This is made possible by employing (i) an image-sensor-based optomechanical flow imaging method known as virtual-freezing fluorescence imaging and (ii) a real-time intelligent image processor on an 8-PC server equipped with 8 multi-core CPUs and GPUs for intelligent decision-making, in order to significantly boost the imaging performance and computational power of the iIACS machine. We characterize the iIACS machine with fluorescent particles and various cell types and show that the performance of the iIACS machine is close to its achievable design specification. Equipped with the improved capabilities, this new generation of the iIACS technology holds promise for diverse applications in immunology, microbiology, stem cell biology, cancer biology, pathology, and synthetic biology.

Graphical abstract: Intelligent image-activated cell sorting 2.0

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
24 Jan 2020
14 May 2020
First published
18 May 2020

Lab Chip, 2020,20, 2263-2273

Intelligent image-activated cell sorting 2.0

A. Isozaki, H. Mikami, H. Tezuka, H. Matsumura, K. Huang, M. Akamine, K. Hiramatsu, T. Iino, T. Ito, H. Karakawa, Y. Kasai, Y. Li, Y. Nakagawa, S. Ohnuki, T. Ota, Y. Qian, S. Sakuma, T. Sekiya, Y. Shirasaki, N. Suzuki, E. Tayyabi, T. Wakamiya, M. Xu, M. Yamagishi, H. Yan, Q. Yu, S. Yan, D. Yuan, W. Zhang, Y. Zhao, F. Arai, R. E. Campbell, C. Danelon, D. Di Carlo, K. Hiraki, Y. Hoshino, Y. Hosokawa, M. Inaba, A. Nakagawa, Y. Ohya, M. Oikawa, S. Uemura, Y. Ozeki, T. Sugimura, N. Nitta and K. Goda, Lab Chip, 2020, 20, 2263 DOI: 10.1039/D0LC00080A

To request permission to reproduce material from this article, please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

If you are an author contributing to an RSC publication, you do not need to request permission provided correct acknowledgement is given.

If you are the author of this article, you do not need to request permission to reproduce figures and diagrams provided correct acknowledgement is given. If you want to reproduce the whole article in a third-party publication (excluding your thesis/dissertation for which permission is not required) please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity