Plasma Separation Based On Cell-Free Layer Formation Phenomenon

Separation of plasma from whole blood is an important and critical step in medical diagnostics. The current conventional method for the separation is mainly relied on use of centrifugation which is time consuming and requires an established laboratory setting. Recently, thanks to the advancement in microfludics, the separaon without the requirement of centrifugation has been possible. However, there are still several difficulties in achieving maximum efficiency for collecting plasma such as optimization of flow rates, clogging of channels by blood clotting, and low purity of collected plasma. In particular, the low purity of collected plasma requires additional separation step usually with use of a centrifuge. Therefore, the present study proposes a new method of plasma separation by the use of formation of a cell-free layer that occurs in micro-channels and micro-vessels flow.

 The aim of this study is to utilize the phenomenon of the cell-free layer formation in the microcirculation as a tool for the plasma separation. This pure hemodynamic based phenomenon would allow better separation of plasma with an advantage of flexibility for ease integration to biosensors without any integration or addition of mechanical/electraical forces to the device. Successful completion of this study would provide not only a method to efficiently separate plasma from whole blood but also the possibility of integrating this device with biosensors for direct detection of biomarkers from plasma. The proposed method would pave way for increasing the accuracy and efficiency of the plasma separation.

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