Another area in which this device could be useful is in working with cell cultures. "If you have a mixture of multiple cells where some cells are small and other cells are big, we could separate these cell populations very easily," Papautsky explained. "Anytime you need to separate based on size, we can do it using inertial microfluidics."
The advantage of inertial microfluidics in cell separation is that it can be done easily and without cumbersome equipment. This research is leading to an entirely new generation of testing capabilities which particularly lend themselves to direct use in the field and in physicians' offices in just about any country and any economic setting.
In another paper, titled "Sorting of Blood in Spiral Microchannels" Papautsky and doctoral student Nivedita Nivedita demonstrate continuous sorting of blood utilizing inertial microfluidics via a simple passive microfluidic device. Papautsky's lab has been developing the concept of using inertia to manipulate cells and particles during the last few years. "It's truly different and innovative because these microfluidic devices are really low cost while offering very high throughput," said Papautsky.
The device is, essentially, a clear, plastic, flexible square that is relatively small in size, at about a half an inch across, but big in concept. "With this particular device we can take a drop of blood, put it in the input port in the center, and separate," Papautsky explained. The device contains four outlet ports which separate the blood into different streams, allowing the collection of outputs containing dilute plasma, red blood cells and white blood cells.
"There are a lot of clinical diagnostic tests that are based on blood," he said. One of the most common tests that are done in a hospital is the complete blood count (CBC). Through this test, a wide range of conditions like anemia, malaria or leukemia are diagnosed. "In all of these diagnost
|Contact: M.B. Reilly|
University of Cincinnati