An integrated microfluidic platform for in situ cellular cytokine secretion immunophenotyping

Rapid, quantitative detection of cell-secreted biomarker proteins with a low sample volume holds great promise to advance cellular immunophenotyping techniques for personalized diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. Here we achieved such an assay with the THP-1 human acute moncytic leukemia cell line (a model for human monocyte) using a highly integrated microfluidic platform incorporating a no-wash bead-based chemiluminescence immunodetection scheme. Our microfluidic device allowed us to stimulate cells with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which is an endotoxin causing septic shock due to severely pronounced immune response of the human body, under a well-controlled on-chip environment. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) secreted from stimulated THP-1 cells was subsequently measured within the device with no flushing process required. Our study achieved high-sensitivity cellular immunophenotyping with 20-fold fewer cells than current cell-stimulation assay. The total assay time was also 7 times shorter than that of a conventional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Our strategy of monitoring immune cell functions in situ using a microfluidic platform could impact future medical treatments of acute infectious diseases and immune disorders by enabling a rapid, sample-efficient cellular immunophenotyping analysis.

Huang, NT, W Chen, BR Oh, TT Cornell, TP Shanley, J Fu, K Kurabayashi

Lab on a Chip





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