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The IMI channel selectively detects cells of the immature myeloid series. When exposed to Stromatolyser-IM reagent, the membranes of mature cells are damaged as they contain a high lipid concentration, and the intracellular components are eluted.
The immature cell membrane contains a small amount of lipids and a high concentration of amino acids. The membranes of these cells are damaged as well, but before elution of intracellular components can occur, the reagent enters the cell and fixes both the cell membrane and intracellular components. Using the DC/RF detection method, Sysmex analysers can distinguish between blast cells, immature granulocytes (myelocytes, metameylocytes, promyelocytes) and band cells.
The IMI channel is also sensitive in detecting platelet aggregation. This channel is only available on XE-2100 and XE-5000. Another special application is the enumeration of stem cells in samples from patients/donors undergoing peripheral blood stem cell harvesting.