Gravitational sedimentation induced blood delamination for continuous plasma separation on a microfluidics chip

Anal Chem. 2012 Apr 17;84(8):3780-6. doi: 10.1021/ac3003616. Epub 2012 Mar 29.


Continuous plasma separation will be greatly helpful for dynamic metabolite monitoring in kinetics research and drug development. In this work, we proposed a continuous on-chip plasma separation method based on the natural aggregating and sedimentation behavior of red blood cells at low shear rate. In this approach, a glass capillary was first used to realize quick and obvious delamination of blood cells from plasma. A novel "dual-elbow" connector was designed to change the direction of delamination. The blood was finally separated by laminar flow and bifurcation on the microchip. Results demonstrated that the present device can efficiently and stably separate plasma from blood in a continuous means, e.g., in a 4 h separation we did not observe clogging or a trend of clogging. In addition, the present approach can avoid the damage to cells which usually occurs in separation with high shear rate in a microchannel and possible contaminants to plasma. The proposed microchip device is robust, simple, and inexpensive for long time plasma separation with high plasma recovery and less sample consumption. The present work provides an effective tool for metabolite monitoring in pharmacokinetics research and drug development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Sedimentation
  • Cell Separation / instrumentation*
  • Cell Separation / methods*
  • Erythrocytes / cytology*
  • Gravitation
  • Humans
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques* / instrumentation