[in 3,710,933  Jan. 16,1973
An apparatus for rapidly and automatically analyzing and sorting minute particles on the basis of certain preselected characteristics. Particles flow in suspension through a flow chamber having multiple sensing means to detect preselected physical or chemical characteristics of each particle and then are jetted between charging electrodes and deflection plates. Signals from the sensors for each particle are compared with preset standards, and those droplets containing particles having characteristics not meeting those standards are automatically charged by the charging electrodes. The deflection plates provide a constant electric field which deflects chargbd droplets away from uncharged droplets, thus sorting particles on the basis of their conformance or nonconformance to standards set for the preselected characteristics. This apparatus is particularly applicable to the rapid and automatic sorting of biological cells.
17 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures