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Anal Chem. 2009 Nov 1;81(21):9178-82. doi: 10.1021/ac9018395.

Deterministic lateral displacement as a means to enrich large cells for tissue engineering.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The enrichment or isolation of selected cell types from heterogeneous suspensions is required in the area of tissue engineering. State of the art techniques utilized for this separation include preplating and sieve-based approaches that have limited ranges of purity and variable yield. Here, we present a deterministic lateral displacement (DLD) microfluidic device that is capable of separating large epithelial cells (17.3 +/- 2.7 in diameter) from smaller fibroblast cells (13.7 +/- 3.0 microm in diameter) as a potential alternative approach. The mixed suspension examined is intended to represent the content of digested rat cardiac tissue, which contains equal proportions of cardiomyocyte (17.0 +/- 4.0 microm diameter) and nonmyocyte populations (12.0 +/- 3.0 microm diameter). High purity separation (>97%) of the larger cell type is achieved with 90% yield in a rapid and single-pass process. The significance of this work lies in the recognition that DLD design principles can be applied for the microfluidic enrichment of large cells, up to the 40 microm diameter level examined in this work.

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