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A hybrid resistive pulse-optical detection platform for microfluidic experiments


Resistive-pulse sensing is a label-free method for characterizing individual particles as they pass through ion-conducting channels or pores. During a resistive pulse experiment, the ionic current through a conducting channel is monitored as particles suspended in the solution translocate through the channel. The amplitude of the current decrease during a translocation, or 'pulse', depends not only on the ratio of the particle and channel sizes, but also on the particle position, which is difficult to resolve with the resistive pulse signal alone. We present experiments of simultaneous electrical and optical detection of particles passing through microfluidic channels to resolve the positional dependencies of the resistive pulses. Particles were tracked simultaneously in the two signals to create a mapping of the particle position to resistive pulse amplitude at the same instant in time. The hybrid approach will improve the accuracy of object characterization and will pave the way for observing dynamic changes of the objects such as deformation or change in orientation. This combined approach of optical detection and resistive pulse sensing will join with other attempts at hybridizing high-throughput detection techniques such as imaging flow cytometry.

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