Microscale Blood Separation Technology
Jeffrey D. Zahn, Sung Yang, Akif Undar and Pantelis Athanasiou
from: Lab-on-a-Chip Technology (Vol. 2): Biomolecular Separation and Analysis (Edited by: Keith E. Herold and Avraham Rasooly). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2009)
The purpose of microscale blood separation devices is to either identify individual cell types of interest within a mixed cellular population, concentrate (enrich) a single cell type or sort a mixed population of whole blood into subpopulations of similar cell types for downstream processing and analysis within biomedical microdevices. Conventional laboratory blood analyses serving these roles require well trained, skilled personnel using expensive and sophisticated equipment. The development of autonomous microdevices for blood cell separations is an enabling technology which allows rapid, reproducible laboratory grade tests for applications in point of care diagnostics, continuous patient monitoring with feedback controlled drug delivery and technologies to provide medical diagnostics and treatment. Blood cell diagnostics are utilized to diagnose a multitude of pathological conditions by monitoring changes in physiological blood plasma chemistry, inflammatory responses characterized by complement, neutrophil, and platelet activation, and subsequent release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, changes in blood cell populations, or identifying cluster of differentiation (CD) cell surface protein antigens used in the diagnosis of cancers and infection. Methods for cell separations exploit specific physical property differences between differing cell types which include: fluorescence-based, magnetic-based, affinity-based, electrical or dielectric property-based, cell size and density gradient-based separations depending on the properties of the cells of interest. Since these microdevices are very sophisticated, they should be designed to allow easy operation without technical training while providing advantages such as lower analysis cost or time to analysis over conventional laboratory procedures read more ...