Microparticles and Machine Learning Detect Surface Receptors in a Multifrequency Microfluidic Cytometer



Graphical overview depicts the detection of electrically-sensitive cell membrane receptors: (A) Microparticles with varied aluminum oxide-coatings (20nm and 10nm) are (B) coated with specific antibodies (anti-CD66b for 20 nm, anti-CD11b for 10nm) to (C) target inflammatory neutrophil receptors, resulting in cell-particle conjugates indicating receptor presence. (D) Individual object measurements occur in flowing conditions using microfluidic impedance cytometry, applying multiple frequencies to (E) distinguish the coating-thickness-dependent frequency responses of aluminum oxide-coated microparticles.

Invention Summary:

The majority of in vitro diagnostics are created to detect a single biomarker. There is a requirement for a point-of-care device that can simultaneously identify multiple biomarkers to ensure precise diagnosis and prognosis of complex diseases.

To address this, Rutgers researchers have developed an invention that pertains to a cytometry device using multifrequency impedance for identifying microparticles that are barcoded and bound with antibodies at specific frequencies. These microparticles have partial coating of various metal oxide thicknesses. By utilizing multi-frequency impedance assessments and machine learning, cells expressing surface antigens that can be identified and captured by the microparticle-conjugated antibodies, as well as cell-microparticle complexes, can be distinguished from each other. 

Market Applications:

  • Identifying specific cell types through surface receptors or antigens
  • POC device for disease diagnosis and/or prognosis  


  • Reduced costs in comparison to flow cytometry instruments
  • Portable
  • Ease of operation

Intellectual Property & Development Status: Provisional patent application filed, patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration. For any business development and other collaborative partnerships contact marketingbd@research.rutgers.edu 

Publications: Lab on a Chip 

Patent Information: