High throughput multilayer microfluidic particle separation platform using embedded thermoplastic-based micropumping
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We present an integrated thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) based multilayer microfluidic device with an embedded peristaltic micropump and through-holes membrane for high throughput particle sorting and separation. Fluidic and pneumatic layers of the device were fabricated using hot-embossing lithography and commercially available polycarbonate membranes were succcessfully sandwiched between two thermoplastic elastomer fluidic layers integrated to a peristaltic micropumping layer. The integrated peristaltic micropump induces turbulence at the top-microfluidic layer ring which successfully avoids particle aggregation and membrane blocking even at nanorange size. We present herein the general design of the device structure and pumping characteristics for three devices with membrane pore sizes of 10 μm, 5 μm and 800 nm. By using this design we have successfully demonstrated a separation efficiency as high as 99% of polystyrene microbeads with different sizes and most importantly the separation of 390 nm particles from 2 μm beads was achieved. Using this device, we were also able to separate red blood cells with size of about 6-8 μm from osteoblasts typically larger than 10 μm to demonstrate the potential applicability of this platform for biological samples. The produced microfluidic chip operating at flow rates up to 100 μl min(-1) allows us to achieve efficient high-throughput sorting and separation of target particles/cells.
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