Zebra Fish Embryo Videos Particle Sorting

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Principle of operation



The Cell and Particle Sorter/Dispenser/Imager is a medium to high-throughput device, which enables researchers to individually separate, reroute and collect any selected particle from a flow of particles in liquid. The device employs an enclosed “recirculating” system, with particles constantly moving through the sorter as many times as necessary. A proprietary sorting mechanism is based on a novel principle - the The Venturi Cross - US Patent 7,179,637). The Sorter is capable of handling various particles (beads, nematodes, zebra fish embryos, etc.) at speeds up to 50 particles per second. The separation (deflection) can be based on various parameters (size, transparency, fluorescence, etc.)

Both the "flowing through" and the deflected particles do not ever get outside of the liquid carrier, which prevents oxidation, drying out, denaturation, etc..  The unique principle of the Venturi Cross allows the unit to be stopped "paused", restarted, reversed and readjusted at any time including adjustments of sorting parameters, sensitivity, dispensed volume, i.e. volume of liquid, which surrounds the particle, etc.

The device can perform as a particle sorter, particle dispenser, low volume liquid dispenser (down to 60 nano liters or all of the above.  It works with all formats of micro-titer plates, vials and other vessels.

A fully automated Bead Sorter enables multiple batch reruns with sorting criteria selectable "on the fly". Equipped with an automated bead Feeder, clog detection and self cleaning, this system can run without the operator.

Many of the existing particle sorters work on the principle of deflecting selected particles from the vertical (downward) flow, and do not support recirculation and multiple runs, which causes a substantial loss of valuable research material and information and lacks the adjustment flexibility.  These devices are also not well suited for selective dispensing into higher density micro-titer plates (384, 1536, etc.).

TEPS - TechElan’s Particle Sorter is based on the patented "Venturi Cross" principle, where a horizontal flow of suspended particles passes through a narrowing (VBenturi) channel equipped with the sensor, particle separating injector and the secondary deflecting cross flow, which carries the selected particle out of the main flow.

Unlike existing Flow Cytometers, the TEPS type Particle Sorter supports a thorough analysis and multiple runs of the same batch of larger size particles (from 10 to 1000 micron) and works well with all formats of micro-titer plates, vials and other vessels.

In it's basic implementation, the device can serve as a sub micro liter liquid dispenser or as a particle counter/dispenser.


Liquid/Particle flow

A fully  automated multi-vessel flow control system supports reversible  cycles of suspended particles, through the sorting Venturi Cell Cross without operator participation.  Repeatable runs of particles through the sensing/deflecting cell enable selective sequential sorting and deflection of particles. 


The Venturi Cross Cell

The patented Venturi Cross is the heart of the system, which enables extraction of a selected particle from the flow of particles at high speed while maintaining particle contact with liquid. The Venturi Cross is combined with special optical sensors, excitation sources and high speed precision deflecting valves, which enable effective sorting of particles based on their size, fluorescence and other parameters.


Particle feeder

A specially developed particle feeding mechanism (patent pending) serves multiple purposes:

Supplies Venturi Cross with individual, properly spaced particles at the selected speed.

Minimizes bead clumps and prevents "clogging" of the Venturi Cell.

Enables the "self cleaning" and purging of the particle feeding lines using special clogging detection algorithm which triggers automatic bead retraction and purging.



Depending on selected options, TEPS can be equipped with different sensors.

The single sensor system works with basic particle counters and particle dispensers.

The dual sensor system has an additional Laser Excitation unit and high sensitivity PMT (Photo Multiplier Tube) sensor for fluorescent emission detection. These sensors are supplied with required filters.


Control and Software

The control system consists of two interacting systems: The Flow Controller and The Data Acquisition and Sorting controller.

1. The the intelligent fluid flow controller monitors levels, pressure, recirculation and other parameters.

2. The sorting controller is equipped with high speed particle monitoring and deflection microprocessor/controller. An optimized algorithm allows to select various sorting parameters (from size to fluorescence, eliminate false triggering, discard "double" particles, etc.

A user friendly GUI interface enables operator to select different parameters to optimize the sorting process.

Fluorescent beads selector

Single bead Dispenser

Recirculation Vessel &

Venturi Cross cell

Vessel with Feeder

 and Stirrer


Control (HMI)


Venturi Cross Flow Cell Principle


Venturi Cross Flow Cell


Particle monitoring micro-processor



Development, Customization


Techelan offers customization and co-development for special sorting functions.

Variables can include size and shape of particles of different nature, excitation and emission wavelength and other parameters.


Our laboratories are equipped with special high speed video cameras, data acquisition systems, illumination setups, etc., which enable our engineers to optimize the system fluidics, optics and electronics (control).

Zebra fish embryos Sorter (Application example)


This application might provide a very useful tool to all the companies, which are handling Zebra fish embryos.

The size and shape of embryos lends itself well to the Dispenser/Sorter.  Optimization of speed and sedation of fast moving embryos represents the main challenge.


An optional automated platform can support arraying functions for accommodating sorted particles.

Developmental efforts are currently focused to evaluate the efficacy of sensors and parabolic amplifiers for detection of single cell events.


Please contact us to discuss your application.