The cytodisk: A cytometer based upon a new principle of cell alignment

B.G. de Grooth, T.H. Geerken, Jan Greve

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

    9 Citations (Scopus)
    69 Downloads (Pure)


    A new method is described for one-dimensional alignment of small particles such as biological cells. A drop of the particle suspension is spread out on a flat disk or plate equipped with V-shaped grooves such as are present on a gramophone disk. After drying, the particles are located on the bottom of the grooves and are thus aligned in a one-dimensional array. The new alignment procedure is demonstrated with a suspension of fluorescent polystyrene micropheres (diameter 3.8 µm) and a suspension of the unicellular algae chlorella vulgaris (diameter about 3 µm). It appears that the alignment of cells and spheres is very good. When using microspheres, more than 95% of the particles in the grooves are located within ±2 µm of the centre line of the groove. Based upon this cell-alignment principle, a new cytometer, named the cytodisk, is proposed. The proposed system has a number of advantages over the flow cytometer, among which is the unique ability of relocating a previously measured cell for further measurement or visual examination. A prototype of a cytodisk, developed for initial test measurements, was built in our laboratory. The apparatus, constructed from a record player and ordinary long-playing records, uses a simple mechanical tracking system and a single optical fiber for fluorescence excitation and detection. With this apparatus it is demonstrated that a cytodisk can indeed perform quite well: A histogram of fluorescing microspheres could be measured with a coefficient of variation of 4.1%. The performance of this prototype is limited by the quality of the mechanical tracking system and the optical system used. It is expected that considerable improvements may be obtained by using a more sophisticated optical detection system such as the tracking system in use in optical disk players.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)226-233
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1985


    • particle analysis
    • Cytometry
    • IR-60747
    • cell analysis
    • Particle alignment

    Cite this