Monitoring Neutropenia for Cancer Patients at the Point of Care. Small methods Inan, H., Kingsley, J. L., Ozen, M. O., Tekin, H. C., Hoerner, C. R., Imae, Y., Metzner, T. J., Preiss, J. S., Durmus, N. G., Ozsoz, M., Wakelee, H., Fan, A. C., Tüzel, E., Demirci, U. 2017; 1 (9)


Neutrophils have a critical role in regulating the immune system. The immune system is compromised during chemotherapy, increasing infection risks and imposing a need for regular monitoring of neutrophil counts. Although commercial hematology analyzers are currently used in clinical practice for neutrophil counts, they are only available in clinics and hospitals, use large blood volumes, and are not available at the point of care (POC). Additionally, phlebotomy and blood processing require trained personnel, where patients are often admitted to hospitals when the infections are at late stage due to lack of frequent monitoring. Here, a reliable method is presented that selectively captures and quantifies white blood cells (WBCs) and neutrophils from a finger prick volume of whole blood by integrating microfluidics with high-resolution imaging algorithms. The platform is compact, portable, and easy to use. It captures and quantifies WBCs and neutrophils with high efficiency (>95%) and specificity (>95%) with an overall 4.2% bias compared to standard testing. The results from a small cohort of patients (N = 11 healthy, N = 5 lung and kidney cancer) present a unique disposable cell counter, demonstrating the ability of this tool to monitor neutrophil and WBC counts within clinical or in resource-constrained environments.

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