Microfluidic differential immunocapture biochip for specific leukocyte counting

Nat Protoc. 2016 Apr;11(4):714-26. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2016.038. Epub 2016 Mar 10.


Enumerating specific cell types from whole blood can be very useful for research and diagnostic purposes-e.g., for counting of CD4 and CD8 T cells in HIV/AIDS diagnostics. We have developed a biosensor based on a differential immunocapture technology to enumerate specific cells in 30 min using 10 μl of blood. This paper provides a comprehensive stepwise protocol to replicate our biosensor for CD4 and CD8 cell counts. The biochip can also be adapted to enumerate other specific cell types such as somatic cells or cells from tissue or liquid biopsies. Capture of other specific cells requires immobilization of their corresponding antibodies within the capture chamber. Therefore, this protocol is useful for research into areas surrounding immunocapture-based biosensor development. The biosensor production requires 24 h, a one-time cell capture optimization takes 6-9 h, and the final cell counting experiment in a laboratory environment requires 30 min to complete.

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Count / methods*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Techniques / methods*
  • Microfluidics / methods*
  • Time Factors