High Throughput Cell-Free Extraction of Plasma by an Integrated Microfluidic Device Combining Inertial Focusing and Membrane
Plasma is a host of numerous analytes such as proteins, metabolites, circulating nucleic acids (CNAs), and pathogens, and it contains massive information about the functioning of the whole body, which is of great importance for the clinical diagnosis. Plasma needs to be completely cell-free for effective detection of these analytes. The key process of plasma extraction is to eliminate the contamination from blood cells. Centrifugation, a golden standard method for blood separation, is generally lab-intensive, time consuming, and even dangerous to some extent, and needs to be operated by well-trained staffs. Membrane filtration can filter cells very effectively according to its pore size, but it is prone to clogging by dense particle concentration and suffers from limited capacity of filtration. Frequent rinse is lab-intensive and undesirable. In this work, we proposed and fabricated an integrated microfluidic device that combined particle inertial focusing and membrane filter for high efficient blood plasma separation. The integrated microfluidic device was evaluated by the diluted (1/10, 1/20) whole blood, and the quality of the extracted blood plasma was measured and compared with that from the standard centrifugation. We found that the quality of the extracted blood plasma from the proposed device can be equivalent to that from the standard centrifugation. This study demonstrates a significant progress toward the practical application of inertial microfluidics with membrane filter for high-throughput and highly efficient blood plasma extraction.