A portable, hand-powered microfluidic device for sorting of biological particles
Manually hand-powered portable microfluidic devices are cheap alternatives for point-of-care diagnostics. Currently, on-field tests are limited by the use of bulky syringe pumps, pressure controller and equipment. In this work, we present a manually operated microfluidic device incorporated with a groove-based channel. We show that the device is capable to effectively sort particles/cells by manual hand powering. First, the grooved-based channel with differently sized polystyrene particles was characterized using syringe pumps to study their distributions under various flow rate conditions. Afterward, the particle mixtures were sorted manually using hand power to verify the capability of this device. Finally, the manually operated device was used to sort platelets from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The platelets were collected with a purity of ~ 100%. The purity of PBMCs was enhanced from 0.8 to 10.4% after multiple processes which results in an enrichment ratio of 13.8. During the process of manual hand pumping, the flow fluctuation caused by unstable injection will not influence the sorting performance. Due to its simplicity, this manually operated microfluidic chip is suitable for outfield settings.