Development of a microfluidic device for single cell analysis using FT-IR microscopy

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Francis Ball


AbstractSubmitted by Francis John BallFor the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy and entitled: Development of a microfluidic device for single cell analysis using FT-IR microscopyProstate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer fatalities in males in the UK (2006) [1]. Therefore any advances in the diagnosis or screening for this form of cancer will yield significant benefits in the treatment of this disease. FT-IR has already been successfully used to assess and grade prostate biopsies by Gazi et al 2006 [2]. The collection of prostate biopsy is however a highly invasive procedure and as current screening methods are highly sensitive, but not very specific, large numbers of patients are referred for biopsy procedures that later come back as negative for prostate cancer [3]. Harvey et al used Raman spectroscopy to classify live cells of a number of prostate cell lines as a first step towards a possible urine screening protocol for prostate cancer [3]. Due to the complementary nature of Raman and FT-IR spectroscopy a similar live cell study should be possible using FT-IR and the combination of this technique with a high-throughput microfluidic device could lead to a useful screening tool for prostate cancer.The aim of the project was therefore to develop a microfluidic system which would enable higher through-put FT-IR analysis of live single cells in an aqueous carrier solution such as PBS or urine than has been previously possible. The design of the microfluidic device must also account for the fact that the materials used to produce the analysis chamber must be highly transparent to mid-IR radiation. The microfluidic device and peripheral systems must be easily transportable as it will be necessary to perform experiments in multiple locations. A design and manufacturing protocol for such a device has been developed.The development of a spectral contribution removal algorithm for the aqueous carrier fluid will also be necessary in order to allow the accurate interpretation of the IR data obtained. A least squares fitting based spectral subtraction algorithm was developed and validated for this purpose.Although it did not prove possible during the project to investigate the possible application of this device to a prostate cancer screening protocol other applications in cell line classification and drug cell interaction studies were performed and yielded encouraging results.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Aug 2013