This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. Primary support for the subproject and the subproject's principal investigator may have been provided by other sources, including other NIH sources. The Total Cost listed for the subproject likely represents the estimated amount of Center infrastructure utilized by the subproject, not direct funding provided by the NCRR grant to the subproject or subproject staff. The goal of the New Mexico Technology Research Collaborative (TRC; is to create a focused Industry, University and National Laboratory partnership for medical instrumentation and applications development that will lay the foundation for a biotechnology industry in this sector in New Mexico. The proposed technical work combines truly unique capabilities in the TRC research institutions, advanced micro-optical capabilities at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and the unique acoustic focusing technology at Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL), to create a miniature, shockproof optical system for a low cost portable flow cytometer. Dr. Kevin Malloy is Associate Director of the Center for High Technology Materials and Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UNM. In the TRC project, LANL and UNM will work with Acoustic Cytometry Systems (ACS), a local startup company who has recently been selected by the Laboratory to commercialize LANL acoustic focusing technology that enables the development of an ultrasensitive low cost portable flow cytometer. The initial focus of the collaboration will be on development of a low cost, miniature, shockproof optical system for a new portable and ultrasensitive flow cytometer that ACS is developing and will commercialize. This will require the development of micro-fabricated optical elements for coupling laser excitation and emission to a flow cell, as well as coupling to miniature optical detection components. In the course of this collaboration, several micro-optical fabrication technologies and devices will be developed and tested that have immediate application to the instrumentation development efforts in Projects 1 of the NFCR renewal application. We also anticipate application of these techniques and the UNM micro-optical fabrication expertise in the later stages of Projects 1 and 3. In the past, the larger size of optical devices made it easy to align lenses with sufficient accuracy. Recent miniaturization has driven the development of new optical elements capable of efficiently coupling combinations of optical components. These new micro-optical technologies also provide the opportunity to integrate the flow channel and optical paths on a solid substrate, which will create a compact and robust system. In this collaboration, we will investigate the best use of microfabrication and specialized fiber optics to rigidly align optical paths with the flow cell in a flow cytometer. The three components necessary for a miniature optical flow cell are described below, with specific reference to their integration in a compact, low cost instrument. Similar fabrication techniques and devices will be utilized for the multiple flow cells necessary for the high-throughput large particle sorter to be developed in Project 2. We also anticipate that application of these techniques in the development of specialized field-based manipulation cytometers to be developed in collaborations for Project 1. Finally, the experience and devices developed in this collaboration will be extremely useful in the later stages of Project 3, particularly for improving light collection and coupling to the advanced optical elements proposed in the final two aims of the integrated phase-spectral instrument. There will be three inter-related components in our approach to developing miniaturized flow cells optically coupled to low-power lasers and small optical detectors: 1) micro-optic fiber lenses;2) micro-optic emission collection;and 3) fiber coupled excitation and detection optics.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biotechnology Resource Grants (P41)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-CB-K (40))
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Los Alamos National Lab
Los Alamos
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