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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Single cell Enrichment with High Throughput Microfluidic Devices

  • Author(s): Pakjesm Pourfard, Pedram
  • Advisor(s): Haun, Jered
  • et al.

Microfluidics is a rapidly growing field of biomedical engineering with numerous applications such as diagnostic testing, therapeutics, and research preparation. Cell enrichment for automated diagnostic is often assayed through measurement of biochemical and biophysical markers. Although biochemical markers have been widely used, intrinsic biophysical markers, such as, Shear migration, Lift force, Dean force, and many other label-free techniques, are advantageous since they don’t require costly labeling or sample preparation. However, current passive techniques for enrichment had limited adoption in clinical and cell biology research applications. They generally require low flow rate and low cell volume fraction for high efficiency. The Control increment filtration, T-shaped microfluidic device, and spiral-shaped microfluidic devices will be studied for single-cell separation from aggregates. Control increment filtration works like the tangential filter; however, cells are separated based off of same amount of flow rate passing through large space gaps. Main microchannel of T-Shaped is connected to two perpendicular side channels. Based off Shear-modulated inertial migration, this device will enable selective enrichment of cells. The spiral shaped microfluidic device depends on different Dean and lift forces acting on cells to separate them based off different sizes. The spiral geometry of the microchannel will enable dominant inertial forces and the Dean Rotation force to cause larger cells to migrate to the inner side of the microchannel. Because manipulation of microchannel dimensions correlates to the degree of cell separation, versatility in design exists. Cell mixture samples will contain cells of different sizes and therefore design strategies could be utilized to maximize the effectiveness of single-cell separation.

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