Microflow is a portable a flow cytometer that uses fiber optic sensor technology to overcome limitations in industry standard flow cytometers due to high power consumption and cumbersome form factor. This technology allows astronauts to monitor their immune health and detect a variety of health conditions during space missions.
It uses advanced fiber optic sensor technology to create a flow cytometer in a portable form factor without sacrificing accuracy over traditional fluorescent spectrum beam and sensor systems. The fiber optic sensors allow detection, counting, and physical and chemical characterization of each individual particle present in a microscopic sample of organic fluid. Advances in laser micromachining techniques have allowed Institut National d'Optique (INO) to etch flow cells into fiber optic sensors allowing them to miniaturize the hardware required to perform fluorescent spectrum and optical scattering analysis.
- Full, on-site operation with automated flow cytometry analysis
- Small, portable form factor
- Low power requirements compared to traditional flow cytometers
The flow cytometer was developed from a University of Montreal prototype by INO with funding from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to provide low power, low footprint technologies for on-site advanced medical analytics in space operations. The portability of the device makes it relevant for military and emergency response applications, as well as for field medicine and research.
Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration