Multiplexing allows quantifying multiple analytes in a single step, providing advantages over individual testing through shorter processing time, lower sample volume, and reduced cost per test. Currently, flow cytometry is the gold standard for biomedical multiplexing, but requires technical training, extensive data processing, and expensive operational and capital costs. To solve this challenge, we designed digital barcoded particles and a microfluidic architecture for multiplexed analyte quantification. In this work, we simulate and model non-fluorescence-based microfluidic impedance detection with a single excitation and detection scheme using barcoded polymer microparticles. Our barcoded particles can be designed with specific coding regions and generate numerous distinct patterns enabling digital barcoding. We found that signals based on adhered microsphere position and relative orientation were evaluated and separated based on their associated electrical signatures and had a 7 µm microsphere limit of detection. Our proposed microfluidic system can enumerate micron-sized spheres in a single assay using barcoded particles of various configurations. As representation of blood cells, the microsphere concentrations may provide useful information on disease onset and progression. Such sensors may be used for diagnostic and management of common critical care diseases like sepsis, acute kidney injury, urinary tract infections, and HIV/AIDS.
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