Microfluidic cell processing


Patented microfluidic technologies for blood cell separation and cell handling invented and developed at MGH over the past decade show unmatched performance in their capabilities to identify, sort, and separate clinically relevant cells with high purity and in high yield from a multitude of biological samples, such as blood, marrow, and lavage.  Using novel microfluidics technology based on inertial focusing, clinicians will be able to obtain purified and concentrated cells to diagnose infections and to enable autologous therapy.   Read More

Assessing infection or inflammation

In vitro labeled leukocyte imaging is the radionucleotide "gold standard" for imaging infections.

Scintigraphy image of an infected right foot (red arrow)

Autologous leukocyte imaging or WBC scan is a diagnostic procedure performed in major hospitals or clinics to help in the diagnosis of a variety of infectious or inflammatory conditions.  During the procedure, a blood sample is taken and WBCs are then separated from the rest of the sample.  The isolated WBCs are mixed with a small amount of radioisotope tracer to ‘tag’ the cells, which are then returned to the body through an injection.  Most of the tagged cells will go directly to the site(s) of infection or inflammation where these tagged WBCs can be detected by a radiology scanner.  The leukocyte microchip process uses an automated system in which the whole blood is processed through the device to separate the leukocytes from the waste (RBCs, platelets, and plasma).  Pure cells of the highest quantity can then be injected back into the patient to help clinicians accurately assess the severity of the infectious or inflammatory disease early in its course.

Analytical validation of radionucleotide imaging and the bone marrow concentrator has been completed in animal models and clinical validation studies in patients are ongoing.

MicroMedicine is developing automated point-of-care technologies for the clinical setting.

Relevant publications

Di Carlo D, Irimia D, Tompkins RG, Toner M. Continuous inertial focusing, ordering, and separation of particles in microchannels. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Nov 27;104(48):18892-7.  PubMed PMID: 18025477; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2141878


Mehmet Toner, Ph.D. Ravi Kapur, Ph.D. Ronald G. Tompkins, M.D., Sc.D.
mtoner@hms.harvard.edu ravikapur@mac.com rtompkins@mgh.harvard.edu
617-724-5336 617-724-5336 617-726-3447

See Less


andrwkirkMicrofluidic cell processing