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Sensitive and high-throughput technologies to assess subtle morphological differences in cells are a major need for high-throughput drug screening and disease profiling research. However, conventional technologies like flow cytometry and microscopy to assess morphology have limitations. Microscopy is slow and a terminal assay for cells while flow cytometry only provides crude physical measures, like size and granularity, by detecting forward (FSC) and side (SSC) scattered light, respectively. By these measures, subtle morphological differences between cells cannot be detected. However, the data-rich profiles generated by Ghost Cytometry enable detection and resolution of ultra-fine differences in cell morphology. In this proof-of-concept study we use the VisionSort platform, powered by Ghost Cytometry, to show label-free resolution of two human lymphocyte cell lines (Raji and Jurkat) that appear indistinguishable by conventional approaches. The approach described here can be extended to a wide range of applications for assessing subtle differences in leukocyte populations for life science R&D.

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