The Electronics in Flow Cytometry

Tuesday, Apr 8, 2008 - 7:00 pm          


The measurement, classification and separation and of blood cells have become increasingly important as tools for biological research and clinical diagnostics. Blood cells by their very nature have markedly different characteristics. Their characteristics are obtained through differentiation during the normal physical development process of the organism. Like all cells, each type of White cell has unique cell surface antigens. These can be used to distinguish each type through the use of Fluorescent tagged antibodies to a particular surface antigen characteristic of the cell of interest. Flow cytometry can be used to separate the cells into categories of interest by exploiting this technique. BD flow cytometers are used for, among other things, the therapeutic monitoring of cancer, AIDS, and leukemia patients. For example, the measurement CD4 T-Cells has become a standard in the monitoring and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

This presentation will describe the various systems BD Biosciences offers for the analysis and sorting of blood cells and the electronic systems employed to make this possible. A high-level view of the electronic architecture will be presented. Components of the design covered will be: PMT photo detection, multi-channel analog to digital converts, digital delay adjustment for laser beam displacement, calculation of basic cell parameters, spectral overlap compensation, and real-time cell sorting decisions using parallel DSP processing.


About the speaker, William Tynes, Dwayne Yount, Becton, Dickinson and Co.

Bill Tynes has 35 years of experience in the field of Medical Diagnostic Systems. He is the Director of Systems Engineering at BD Bioscience in San Jose, CA. He was previously Senior Director of Systems and Hardware Engineering at Bayer Diagnostics in Tarrytown, NY, now Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. Bill received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and did graduate work at Lehigh and Johns Hopkins Universities and Moravian College in the fields of Electronics, Biotechnology and Computer Science respectively. He has contributed to the development and commercialization of more than a dozen medical devices, mostly in the field of clinical diagnostics.

Dwayne Yount started his career in analog and digital electronic design at Stanford University Medical Center when he designed the first automated infant hearing test for the otorhinolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat) department. Dwayne also designed and developed industrial process control systems at Measurex Corp. (now Honeywell), where he worked for 20 years. Dwayne joined BD Biosciences ten years ago to write DSP code for their next generation digital flow cytometers. He then became project lead and chief architect for the instrument’s electronics. As design lead, he was granted a U.S. patent for a cell analyzer and sorter electronic design that included eight floating point DSPs and twenty high-speed ADCs.


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