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Biomicrofluidics. 2015 Jan 21;9(1):014106. doi: 10.1063/1.4906458. eCollection 2015 Jan.

Phaseguide-assisted blood separation microfluidic device for point-of-care applications.

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SMALL (Sensors and MicroActuators Learning Lab), Department of Electrical Engineering, The State University of New York at Buffalo , Buffalo, New York 14260, USA.


We propose a blood separation microfluidic device suitable for point-of-care (POC) applications. By utilizing the high gas permeability of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and phaseguide structures, a simple blood separation device is presented. The device consists of two main parts. A separation chamber with the phaseguide structures, where a sample inlet, a tape-sealed outlet, and a dead-end ring channel are connected, and pneumatic chambers, in which manually operating syringes are plugged. The separation chamber and pneumatic chambers are isolated by a thin PDMS wall. By manually pulling out the plunger of the syringe, a negative pressure is instantaneously generated inside the pneumatic chamber. Due to the gas diffusion from the separation chamber to the neighboring pneumatic chamber through the thin permeable PDMS wall, low pressure can be generated, and then the whole blood at the sample inlets starts to be drawn into the separation chamber and separated through the phaseguide structures. Reversely, after removing the tape at the outlet and manually pushing in the plunger of the syringe, a positive pressure will be created which will cause the air to diffuse back into the ring channel, and therefore allow the separated plasma to be recovered at the outlet on demand. In this paper, we focused on the study of the plasma separation and associated design parameters, such as the PDMS wall thickness, the air permeable overlap area between the separation and pneumatic chambers, and the geometry of the phaseguides. The device required only 2 μl of whole blood but yielding approximately 0.38 μl of separated plasma within 12 min. Without any of the requirements of sophisticated equipment or dilution techniques, we can not only separate the plasma from the whole blood for on-chip analysis but also can push out only the separated plasma to the outlet for off-chip analysis.

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