Centrifugal microfluidic or lab-on-a-disc platforms have many advantages over other microfluidic systems. These advantages include a minimal amount of instrumentation, the efficient removal of any disturbing bubbles or residual volumes, and inherently available density-based sample transportation and separation. Centrifugal microfluidic devices applied to biomedical analysis and point-of-care diagnostics have been extensively promoted recently. This paper presents an up-to-date overview of these devices. The development of biomedical centrifugal microfluidic platforms essentially covers two categories: (i) unit operations that perform specific functionalities, and (ii) systems that aim to address certain biomedical applications. With the aim to provide a comprehensive representation of current development in this field, this review summarizes progress in both categories. The advanced unit operations implemented for biological processing include mixing, valving, switching, metering and sequential loading. Depending on the type of sample to be used in the system, biomedical applications are classified into four groups: nucleic acid analysis, blood analysis, immunoassays, and other biomedical applications. Our overview of advanced unit operations also includes the basic concepts and mechanisms involved in centrifugal microfluidics, while on the other hand an outline on reported applications clarifies how an assembly of unit operations enables efficient implementation of various types of complex assays. Lastly, challenges and potential for future development of biomedical centrifugal microfluidic devices are discussed.
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