Microfab statistics

  • #1
I'm taking microfabrication right now and we will be making a flow cytometer on a chip. My question is--are the statistics that come from something microfabricated as good as the larger version? The idea is to use less reagents, materials, and sample, but if you use less sample can you generate the same quality of statistics? A flow cytometer can generate massive amounts of statistics, but if you you use 1/100th of the amount of cells for a cytometer on a chip will your data be as good?

Answers and Replies

  • #2
With even a few hundred "particles" in statistical mechanics things already overwhelmingly favor the dominant configuration and I believe you can just say "its similar for cells".

For blood, 1 microliter contains about 5 million cells, and with microfluidic lab on a chips you're probably looking at somewhere between 1 nanoliter and 1 microliter of fluid, so at minimum you'll have thousands of cells which is probably good enough.

If something really, really big is riding on this and there's a gigantic penalty for failure though don't trust what I say and ask a math guy instead.

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