Pulsed laser activated cell sorter (PLACS) for high-throughput fluorescent mammalian cell sorting

Yue Chen, Ting Hsiang Wu, Aram Chung, Yu Chung Kung, Michael A. Teitell, Dino Di Carlo, Pei Yu Chiou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)


We present a Pulsed Laser Activated Cell Sorter (PLACS) realized by exciting laser induced cavitation bubbles in a PDMS microfluidic channel to create high speed liquid jets to deflect detected fluorescent samples for high speed sorting. Pulse laser triggered cavitation bubbles can expand in few microseconds and provide a pressure higher than tens of MPa for fluid perturbation near the focused spot. This ultrafast switching mechanism has a complete on-off cycle less than 20 μsec. Two approaches have been utilized to achieve 3D sample focusing in PLACS. One is relying on multilayer PDMS channels to provide 3D hydrodynamic sheath flows. It offers accurate timing control of fast (2 m sec-1) passing particles so that synchronization with laser bubble excitation is possible, an critically important factor for high purity and high throughput sorting. PLACS with 3D hydrodynamic focusing is capable of sorting at 11,000 cells/sec with >95% purity, and 45,000 cells/sec with 45% purity using a single channel in a single step. We have also demonstrated 3D focusing using inertial flows in PLACS. This sheathless focusing approach requires 10 times lower initial cell concentration than that in sheath-based focusing and avoids severe sample dilution from high volume sheath flows. Inertia PLACS is capable of sorting at 10,000 particles sec-1 with >90% sort purity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XI
EditorsGabriel C. Spalding, Kishan Dholakia
ISBN (Electronic)9781628411911
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XI - San Diego, United States
Duration: 2014 Aug 172014 Aug 21

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation XI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 SPIE.


  • Lab on a Chip
  • Photothermal
  • cavitation bubble
  • inertial focusing
  • micro FACS
  • microfluidics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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