Principle of operation
BEADS, CELL CLUSTERS, NEMATODES, ZEBRA FISH EMBRYOS
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
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.
automated multi-vessel flow control system supports reversible cycles
of suspended particles, through the sorting Venturi Cell Cross without operator participation.
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.
developed particle feeding mechanism (patent pending) serves multiple purposes:
Supplies Venturi Cross
with individual, properly spaced particles
at the selected speed.
bead clumps and prevents "clogging" of the Venturi Cell.
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
the intelligent fluid flow controller
monitors levels, pressure, recirculation and other parameters.
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.