An automated imaging system was developed to quantify fluorescence signals from particles immobilized on hydrogel-coated slides. Arrays of submicrometer-diameter particles were printed with up to 600 particles/spot. The slides were read under 20× magnification without cover slips. Software was written to image individual spots and measure the median particle fluorescence in each spot. To locate array spots, an alignment program made use of two fiducial grids of fluorescent reference particles at either end of the slide. Focusing was adjusted locally using spots of reference particles located at the centers of focusing neighborhoods. The response was linear across a two-decade range, and the precision of readings was better than 5% down to ∼1000 fluors/particle. Exposure times varied with signal intensity, reaching 1 s at the lowest levels of fluorescence. Data demonstrate feasibility for measuring fluorescence from immobilized particle arrays on an automated microscope with accuracy and precision similar to fluorescence measurements of microparticles with a flow cytometer. This work provides automation of imaging and analysis procedures necessary for development of immobilized particle arrays as an analytical platform that combines advantageous features of both planar and suspension arrays.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry