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MMM 2022

November 07, 2022

Minneapolis, United States

An Integrated and Highly Sensitive Magnetic Tunnel Junction based Cytometer

Flow cytometry is a powerful technique that enables cell quantification and analysis. As a result, it has become an essential instrument in biomedical research and clinical testing for disease diagnosis or treatment monitoring. However, the current technique is large and expensive, driving research into smaller, cheaper, and more efficient flow cytometers 1. One approach to tackle this problem can be with the application of spintronic sensors such as giant magnetoresistance sensors for cell quantification 1. In this work, we report a highly sensitive flow cytometer based on magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) technology. After external labeling of cells with magnetized beads placed above the MTJ sensor to measure stray magnetic field surrounding the beads. When labeled cells pass through the sensitive area, a signal peak will be generated at the output of the MTJ sensor 3. Alternatively, magnetic flow cytometers can evaluate the efficacy of certain cancer immunotherapies where cancer cell membranes coat magnetic nanoparticles to activate a specific natural killer (KT) cell response 4. One of the cytometer applications is Live/dead cancer cells discrimination.
This cytometer can detect the presence of these magnetic nanoparticles to ensure proper activation of KT cells and thorough removal of the modified magnetic particles. This result demonstrates a novel MTJ-based, highly sensitive flow cytometer design for quantifying magnetically labeled cells and cancer therapy involving magnetic nanoparticles.
Using our suggested device, we can distinguish and separate between cancer cells and prove Live/dead cancer cells discrimination.

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