The cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay is a well-established technique that can be employed in triage radiation biodosimetry to estimate whole body doses of radiation to potentially exposed individuals through quantitation of the frequency of micronuclei (MN) in binucleated lymphocyte cells (BNCs). The assay has been partially automated using traditional microscope-based methods and most recently has been modified for application on the ImageStreamX (ISX) imaging flow cytometer. This modification has allowed for a similar number of BNCs to be automatically scored as compared to traditional microscopy in a much shorter time period. However, the MN frequency measured was much lower than both manual and automated slide-based methods of performing the assay. This work describes the optimized analysis template which implements newly developed functions in the IDEAS® data analysis software for the ISX that enhances specificity for BNCs and increases the frequency of scored MN. A new dose response calibration curve is presented in which the average rate of MN per BNC is of similar magnitude to those presented in the literature using automated CBMN slide scoring methods. In addition, dose estimates were generated for nine irradiated, blinded samples and were found to be within ±0.5 Gy of the delivered dose. Results demonstrate that the improved identification accuracy for MN and BNCs in the ISX-based version of the CBMN assay will translate to increased accuracy when estimating unknown radiation doses received by exposed individuals following large-scale radiological or nuclear emergencies.

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Keywords automated MN analysis, biodosimetry, cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay, ImageStreamX, imaging flow cytometry, population triage
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Journal Cytometry Part A
Rodrigues, M.A. (M. A.), Probst, C.E. (C. E.), Beaton-Green, L.A. (L. A.), & Wilkins, R.C. (2016). Optimized automated data analysis for the cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay using imaging flow cytometry for high throughput radiation biodosimetry. Cytometry Part A, 89(7), 653–662. doi:10.1002/cyto.a.22887