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Microfluidic Devices for Blood Fractionation

BioSystems and Micromechanics (BioSyM) IRG, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Centre, Singapore 117543
Division of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117576
NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117456
Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117576
Mechanobiology Institute, Singapore 117411
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2011, 2(3), 319-343;
Received: 11 May 2011 / Revised: 27 June 2011 / Accepted: 6 July 2011 / Published: 20 July 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Microdevices)
PDF [3297 KB, uploaded 20 July 2011]


Blood, a complex biological fluid, comprises 45% cellular components suspended in protein rich plasma. These different hematologic components perform distinct functions in vivo and thus the ability to efficiently fractionate blood into its individual components has innumerable applications in both clinical diagnosis and biological research. Yet, processing blood is not trivial. In the past decade, a flurry of new microfluidic based technologies has emerged to address this compelling problem. Microfluidics is an attractive solution for this application leveraging its numerous advantages to process clinical blood samples. This paper reviews the various microfluidic approaches realized to successfully fractionate one or more blood components. Techniques to separate plasma from hematologic cellular components as well as isolating blood cells of interest including certain rare cells are discussed. Comparisons based on common separation metrics including efficiency (sensitivity), purity (selectivity), and throughput will be presented. Finally, we will provide insights into the challenges associated with blood-based separation systems towards realizing true point-of-care (POC) devices and provide future perspectives. View Full-Text
Keywords: blood separation; microfluidics; cell separation; enrichment; disease detection and diagnosis blood separation; microfluidics; cell separation; enrichment; disease detection and diagnosis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Hou, H.W.; Bhagat, A.A.S.; Lee, W.C.; Huang, S.; Han, J.; Lim, C.T. Microfluidic Devices for Blood Fractionation. Micromachines 2011, 2, 319-343.

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