To quantify the variation of red blood cells (RBCs) or plasma proteins in blood samples effectively, it is necessary to measure blood viscosity and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) simultaneously. Conventional microfluidic measurement methods require two syringe pumps to control flow rates of both
[...] Read more.
To quantify the variation of red blood cells (RBCs) or plasma proteins in blood samples effectively, it is necessary to measure blood viscosity and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) simultaneously. Conventional microfluidic measurement methods require two syringe pumps to control flow rates of both fluids. In this study, instead of two syringe pumps, two air-compressed syringes (ACSs) are newly adopted for delivering blood samples and reference fluid into a T-shaped microfluidic channel. Under fluid delivery with two ACS, the flow rate of each fluid is not specified over time. To obtain velocity fields of reference fluid consistently, RBCs suspended in 40% glycerin solution (hematocrit = 7%) as the reference fluid is newly selected for avoiding RBCs sedimentation in ACS. A calibration curve is obtained by evaluating the relationship between averaged velocity obtained with micro-particle image velocimetry (μPIV) and flow rate of a syringe pump with respect to blood samples and reference fluid. By installing the ACSs horizontally, ESR is obtained by monitoring the image intensity of the blood sample. The averaged velocities of the blood sample and reference fluid (<UB
>) and the interfacial location in both fluids (αB
) are obtained with μPIV and digital image processing, respectively. Blood viscosity is then measured by using a parallel co-flowing method with a correction factor. The ESR is quantified as two indices (tESR
) from image intensity of blood sample (<IB
>) over time. As a demonstration, the proposed method is employed to quantify contributions of hematocrit (Hct
= 30%, 40%, and 50%), base solution (1× phosphate-buffered saline [PBS], plasma, and dextran solution), and hardened RBCs to blood viscosity and ESR, respectively. Experimental Results of the present method were comparable with those of the previous method. In conclusion, the proposed method has the ability to measure blood viscosity and ESR consistently, under fluid delivery of two ACSs.