Many applications in biomedical research require the long-term identification and tracking
of cells over time. In previous work we have demonstrated that by sequentially dosing a cell
population with different emission wavelength nanoparticles it is possible to use the random number of
nanoparticle loaded vesicles generated by the cells as a barcode for individual cells within the
population. In this paper we develop a simple model to describe the number of codes that can be
generated using this sequential loading protocol. The methodology is validated by comparison with
experiment and subsequently used to predict the effect of varying the number of colors used to encode the cells and also to
assess the effect of misreading the cellular code due to errors in imaging the vesicles.
Keywords: Microscopy, nanoparticles, time-lapse, barcoding.
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