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Soft inertial microfluidics for high throughput separation of bacteria from human blood cells
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Microsystems Technology.
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2009 (English)In: Lab on a Chip, ISSN 1473-0197, E-ISSN 1473-0189, Vol. 9, no 9, 1193-1199 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We developed a new approach to separate bacteria from human blood cells based on soft inertial force induced migration with flow defined curved and focused sample flow inside a microfluidic device. This approach relies on a combination of an asymmetrical sheath flow and proper channel geometry to generate a soft inertial force on the sample fluid in the curved and focused sample flow segment to deflect larger particles away while the smaller ones are kept on or near the original flow streamline. The curved and focused sample flow and inertial effect   were visualized and verified using a fluorescent dye primed in the   device. First the particle behaviour was studied in detail using 9.9 and 1.0 mu m particles with a polymer-based prototype. The prototype device is compact with an active size of 3 mm(2). The soft inertial   effect and deflection distance were proportional to the fluid Reynolds number (Re) and particle Reynolds number (Re-p), respectively. We successfully demonstrated separation of bacteria (Escherichia coli) from human red blood cells at high cell concentrations (above   10(8)/mL), using a sample flow rate of up to 18 mL/min. This resulted in at least a 300-fold enrichment of bacteria at a wide range of flow rates with a controlled flow spreading. The separated cells were proven to be viable. Proteins from fractions before and after cell separation were analyzed by gel electrophoresis and staining to verify the removal of red blood cell proteins from the bacterial cell fraction. This novel microfluidic process is robust, reproducible, simple to perform, and has a high throughput compared to other cell sorting systems. Microfluidic systems based on these principles could easily be manufactured for clinical laboratory and biomedical applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 9, no 9, 1193-1199 p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-111685DOI: 10.1039/b817611fISI: 000265223200006PubMedID: 19370236OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-111685DiVA: diva2:282461
Available from: 2009-12-21 Created: 2009-12-21 Last updated: 2016-04-14Bibliographically approved

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