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Design, test and biological validation of microfluidic systems for blood plasma separation

Maiwenn Kersaudy Kerhoas, Deirdre Kavanagh, Resham Dhariwal, Marc Desmulliez
This projects aims at adressing the lack of lab-on-chip modules for sample preparation by proposing a blood plasma separator based on hydrodynamic principles only. This approach chosen is truly continuous meaning that both separated collections, blood cells and plasma can be recovered at the same time. Unlike others systems can handle large (3mL) and complex (whole blood) samples.

Sample preparation has been described as the weak link in microfluidics. In particular, plasma has to be extracted from whole blood for many analysis including protein analysis, cell-free DNA detection for prenatal diagnosis and transplant monitoring. The lack of suitable devices to perform the separation at the microscale means that Lab On Chip modules cannot be fully operated without sample preparation in a full-scale laboratory.

In order to address these issues, blood flow in microchannels has been studied, and red blood cells behaviours in different geometrical environments have been classified. Several designs have been subsequently proposed to exploit some natural properties of blood flow and extract pure plasma without disturbing the cells.