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Mech Res Commun. 2009 Jan 1;36(1):92-103.

Cell Separation by Non-Inertial Force Fields in Microfluidic Systems.

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Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, United States.


Cell and microparticle separation in microfluidic systems has recently gained significant attention in sample preparations for biological and chemical studies. Microfluidic separation is typically achieved by applying differential forces on the target particles to guide them into different paths. This paper reviews basic concepts and novel designs of such microfluidic separators with emphasis on the use of non-inertial force fields, including dielectrophoretic force, optical gradient force, magnetic force, and acoustic primary radiation force. Comparisons of separation performances with discussions on physiological effects and instrumentation issues toward point-of-care devices are provided as references for choosing appropriate separation methods for various applications.

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