Microfluidic Impedance-Deformability Cytometry for Label-Free Single Neutrophil Mechanophenotyping

Chayakorn Petchakup, Haoning Yang, Lingyan Gong, Linwei He, Hui Min Tay, Rinkoo Dalan, Aram J. Chung, King Ho Holden Li, Han Wei Hou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The intrinsic biophysical states of neutrophils are associated with immune dysfunctions in diseases. While advanced image-based biophysical flow cytometers can probe cell deformability at high throughput, it is nontrivial to couple different sensing modalities (e.g., electrical) to measure other critical cell attributes including cell viability and membrane integrity. Herein, an “optics-free” impedance-deformability cytometer for multiparametric single cell mechanophenotyping is reported. The microfluidic platform integrates hydrodynamic cell pinching, and multifrequency impedance quantification of cell size, deformability, and membrane impedance (indicative of cell viability and activation). A newly-defined “electrical deformability index” is validated by numerical simulations, and shows strong correlations with the optical cell deformability index of HL-60 experimentally. Human neutrophils treated with various biochemical stimul are further profiled, and distinct differences in multimodal impedance signatures and UMAP analysis are observed. Overall, the integrated cytometer enables label-free cell profiling at throughput of >1000 cells min−1 without any antibodies labeling to facilitate clinical diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2104822
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 5

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


  • biophysical phenotyping
  • impedance cytometry
  • neutrophil profiling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials


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