Biofluidic Random Laser Cytometer for Biophysical Phenotyping of Cell Suspensions

Phenotypic profiling of single floating cells in liquid biopsies is the key to the era of precision medicine. A random laser in biofluids is a promising tool for the label-free characterization of the biophysical properties as a result of the high brightness and sharp peaks of the lasing spectra, yet previous reports were limited to the random laser in solid tissues with dense scattering. In this report, a random laser cytometer is demonstrated in an optofluidic device filled with gain medium and human breast normal/cancerous cells. The multiple lightscattering event induced by the microscale human cells promotes random lasing and influences the lasing properties in term of laser modes, spectral wavelengths, and lasing thresholds. A sensing strategy based on analyzing the lasing properties is developed to determine both the whole cell and the subcellular biophysical properties, and the malignant alterations of the cell suspensions are successfully detected. Our results provide a new approach to designing a label-free biophysical cytometer based on optofluidic random laser devices, which is advantageous for further research in the field of random laser bioapplication.