Microfluidic-based cell sorting of Francisella tularensis infected macrophages using optical forces

Thomas D Perroud, Julia N Kaiser, Jay C Sy, Todd W Lane, Catherine S Branda, Anup K Singh, Kamlesh D Patel
Analytical Chemistry 2008 August 15, 80 (16): 6365-72
We have extended the principle of optical tweezers as a noninvasive technique to actively sort hydrodynamically focused cells based on their fluorescence signal in a microfluidic device. This micro fluorescence-activated cell sorter (microFACS) uses an infrared laser to laterally deflect cells into a collection channel. Green-labeled macrophages were sorted from a 40/60 ratio mixture at a throughput of 22 cells/s over 30 min achieving a 93% sorting purity and a 60% recovery yield. To rule out potential photoinduced cell damage during optical deflection, we investigated the response of mouse macrophage to brief exposures (<4 ms) of focused 1064-nm laser light (9.6 W at the sample). We found no significant difference in viability, cell proliferation, activation state, and functionality between infrared-exposed and unexposed cells. Activation state was measured by the phosphorylation of ERK and nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB, while functionality was assessed in a similar manner, but after a lipopolysaccharide challenge. To demonstrate the selective nature of optical sorting, we isolated a subpopulation of macrophages highly infected with the fluorescently labeled pathogen Francisella tularensis subsp. novicida. A total of 10,738 infected cells were sorted at a throughput of 11 cells/s with 93% purity and 39% recovery.

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