Publication Details

Zhang, J., Yan, S., Sluyter, R., Li, W., Alici, G. & Nguyen, N. (2014). Inertial particle separation by differential equilibrium positions in a symmetrical serpentine micro-channel. Scientific Reports, 4 (Article 4527), 1-9.


This paper presents an inertial microfluidic device with a simple serpentine micro-channel to continuously separate particles with high performance. Separation of micro/nano-particles has a variety of potential applications in biomedicine and industry. Among the existing separation technologies, a label-free technique without the use of antibody affinity, filter or centrifugation is highly desired to ensure minimal damage and alteration to the cells. Inertial microfluidics utilising hydrodynamic forces to separate particles is one of the most suitable label-free technologies with a high throughput. Our separation concept relies on size-based differential equilibrium positions of the particles perpendicular to the flow. Highly efficient separation is demonstrated with particles of different sizes. The results indicate that the proposed device has an integrative advantage to the existing microfluidic separation techniques, taking accounts of purity, efficiency, parallelizability, footprint, throughput and resolution. Our device is expected to be a good alternative to conventional separation methods for sample preparation and clinical diagnosis.



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