Hydrodynamic blood plasma separation in microfluidic channels
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The separation of red blood cells from plasma flowing in microchannels is possible by biophysical effects such as the Zweifach–Fung bifurcation law. In the present study, daughter channels are placed alongside a main channel such that cells and plasma are collected separately. The device is aimed to be a versatile but yet very simple module producing high-speed and high-efficiency plasma separation. The resulting lab-on-a-chip is manufactured using biocompatible materials. Purity efficiency is measured for mussel and human blood suspensions as different parameters, such as flow rate and geometries of the parent and daughter channels are varied. The issues of blood plasma separation at the microscale are discussed in relation to the different regimes of flow. Results are compared with those obtained by other researchers in the field of micro-separation of blood.
KeywordsReynolds number Plasma separation Inertial lift force Viscous lift force Bifurcation law
The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) through the funding of the Grand Challenge Project ‘3D-Mintegration’, reference EP/C534212/1. We thank Tim Ryan and Phil Summersgill, Epigem Ltd. for the fabrication of the chips. The fabrication work was carried out in the Fluence Microfluidics Application Centre supported by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the OneNE Regional Development Agency as part of the UK’s MNT Network. The authors thank Deirdre Kavanagh for careful reading of the manuscript.
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