Approach to classify, separate, and enrich objects in groups using ensemble sorting

Turk-MacLeod, R., Henson, A. , Rodriguez-Garcia, M., Gibson, G. M., Aragon Camarasa, G. , Caramelli, D., Padgett, M. J. and Cronin, L. (2018) Approach to classify, separate, and enrich objects in groups using ensemble sorting. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(22), pp. 5681-5685. (doi:10.1073/pnas.1721929115) (PMID:29760051) (PMCID:PMC5984510)

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Abstract

The sorting of objects into groups is a fundamental operation, critical in the preparation and purification of populations of cells, crystals, beads, or droplets, necessary for research and applications in biology, chemistry, and materials science. Most of the efforts exploring such purification have focused on two areas: the degree of separation and the measurement precision required for effective separation. Conventionally, achieving good separation ultimately requires that the objects are considered one by one (which can be both slow and expensive), and the ability to measure the sorted objects by increasing sensitivity as well as reducing sorting errors. Here we present an approach to sorting that addresses both critical limitations with a scheme that allows us to approach the theoretical limit for the accuracy of sorting decisions. Rather than sorting individual objects, we sort the objects in ensembles, via a set of registers which are then in turn sorted themselves into a second symmetric set of registers in a lossless manner. By repeating this process, we can arrive at high sorting purity with a low set of constraints. We demonstrate both the theory behind this idea and identify the critical parameters (ensemble population and sorting time), and show the utility and robustness of our method with simulations and experimental systems spanning several orders of scale, sorting populations of macroscopic beads and microfluidic droplets. Our method is general in nature and simplifies the sorting process, and thus stands to enhance many different areas of science, such as purification, enrichment of rare objects, and separation of dynamic populations.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gibson, Dr Graham and Rodriguez Garcia, Marc and Henson, Dr Alon and Cronin, Professor Leroy and Padgett, Professor Miles and Caramelli, Dario and Aragon Camarasa, Dr Gerardo and MacLeod, Dr Rebecca
Authors: Turk-MacLeod, R., Henson, A., Rodriguez-Garcia, M., Gibson, G. M., Aragon Camarasa, G., Caramelli, D., Padgett, M. J., and Cronin, L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Journal Name:Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
ISSN (Online):1091-6490
Published Online:14 May 2018

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561223Plug'n Play Photosynthetic for Rubisco Independent FuelsLeroy CroninBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/M011267/1CHEM - CHEMISTRY
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685741SMARTPOM: Artificial-Intelligence Driven Discovery and Synthesis of Polyoxometalate ClustersLeroy CroninEuropean Research Council (ERC)670467CHEM - CHEMISTRY
624501TWISTS - Twists & more: the complex shape of lightMiles PadgettEuropean Research Council (ERC)340507S&E P&A - PHYSICS & ASTRONOMY