Natural killer (NK) cells are immune cells that defend against viral infections and cancer and are used in cancer immunotherapies. Subpopulations of NK cells include CD56dim and CD56bright which either produce cytokines or cytotoxically kill cells directly. The absolute number and proportion of these cells in peripheral blood are tied to proper immune function. Current methods of cytokine detection and proportion of NK cell subpopulations require fluorescent dyes and highly specialized equipment, e.g., flow cytometry, thus rapid cell quantification and subpopulation analysis are needed in the clinical setting. Here, a smartphone-based device and a two-component paper microfluidic chip were used towards identifying NK cell subpopulation and inflammatory markers. One unit measured flow velocity via smartphone-captured video, determining cytokine (IL-2) and total NK cell concentrations in undiluted buffy coat blood samples. The other, single flow lane unit performs spatial separation of CD56dim and CD56bright and cells over its length using differential binding of anti-CD56 nanoparticles. A smartphone microscope combined with cloud-based machine learning predictive modeling (utilizing a random forest classification algorithm) analyzed both flow data and NK cell subpopulation differentiation. Limits of detection for cytokine and cell concentrations were 98 IU/mL and 68 cells/mL, respectively, and cell subpopulation analysis showed 89% accuracy.
- NK cell therapy
- Random forest machine learning
- Smartphone fluorescence microscope
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering