Inexpensive, portable devices that can rapidly screen cells for leukemia or HIV may soon be possible thanks to a chip that can produce three-dimensional focusing of a stream of cells, according to researchers. Tony Jun Huang, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State, and his colleagues designed a mass-producible device that can focus particles or cells in a single stream and performs three different optical assessments for each cell. They believe the device represents a major step toward low-cost flow cytometry chips for clinical diagnosis in hospitals, clinics and in the field. "Current machines are very expensive costing $100,000," said Huang. "Using our innovations, we can develop a small one that could cost about $1,000."
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