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Proceedings Paper

Flow cytometry visualization and real-time processing with a CMOS SPAD array and high-speed hardware implementation algorithm
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Paper Abstract

Time-domain microfluidic fluorescence lifetime flow cytometry enables observation of fluorescence decay of particles or cells over time using time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC). This method requires the fluorescence lifetime measured from a limited number of photons and in a short amount of time. In current implementations of the technique, the low throughput of state of the art detectors and lack of real-time statistical analysis of the current technology, the timedomain approaches are usually coupled with off-line analysis which impedes its use in flow cell sorting, tracking and capturing. In this work, we apply a 32×32 CMOS SPAD array (MegaFrame camera) for real-time imaging flow cytometry analysis. This technology is integrated into a 1024-beam multifocal fluorescence microscope and incorporating a microfluidic chip at the sample plane enables imaging of cell flow and identification. Furthermore, the 1.5% native pixel fill-factor of the MegaFrame camera is overcome using beamlet reprojection with <10 μW laser power at 490 nm for each beam. Novel hardware algorithms incorporating the center-of-mass method (CMM) with real-time background subtraction and division are implemented within the firmware, allowing lossless recording of TCSPC events at a 500 kHz frame rate with 1024 histogram bins at 52 ps time resolution. Live calculation of background compensated CMM-based fluorescence lifetime is realized at a user-defined frame rate (typically 0.001 ~ 27 kHz) for each SPAD pixel. The work in this paper considers the application of the SPAD array to confocal fluorescence lifetime imaging of multiple coincident particles flowing within a microfluidic channel. Compared to previous flow systems based on single-point detectors, the multi-beam flow system enables visualization, detection and categorization of multiple groups of cells or particles according to their fluorescence lifetime.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 February 2020
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 11243, Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues XVIII, 112430S (17 February 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2544759
Show Author Affiliations
Hanning Mai, Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Simon P. Poland, King's College London (United Kingdom)
Francesco Mattioli Della Rocca, Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Conor Treacy, King's College London (United Kingdom)
Justin Aluko, King's College London (United Kingdom)
Jakub Nedbal, King's College London (United Kingdom)
Ahmet T. Erdogan, The Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Istvan Gyongy, The Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Richard Walker, Photon Force Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Simon M. Ameer-Beg, King's College London (United Kingdom)
Robert K. Henderson, The Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11243:
Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues XVIII
Daniel L. Farkas; Attila Tarnok, Editor(s)

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