Wicking microfluidic approach to separate blood plasma from whole blood to facilitate downstream assays.
Additional Document Info
Separation of blood plasma or serum from blood is essential for accurate analysis. Conventional blood separation requires instrumentation, reagents, and large sample volumes, limiting this process to laboratory environments with trained personnel. Full implementation of effective blood separation and analysis on microliter sample volumes for point of care (POC) diagnostics has proven extremely challenging resulting in a growing market demand, with common challenges such as expensive device fabrication processes or devices being comprised of materials which are not easily disposable. We developed a membrane-based wicking microfluidic device which is made using a simple fabrication process. This device uses a unique 3D flow channel geometry, fabricated in a polycaprolactone-filled glass microfiber membrane, to efficiently separate microliter sample volumes of blood. Colorimetric assay chemistries were integrated to demonstrate utility of these devices in POC diagnostics. The devices are capable of separating both fresh and anticoagulant-treated blood at microscale sample volumes (<15.0L). Modifications to the base device are also reported herein which increased sample volume capacity and separation efficiency. Integrated colorimetric assay enabled semi-quantitative detection of conjugated bilirubin in real blood samples (1.0-1.5mg/dL). These blood separation devices, fabricated on polycaprolactone-filled glass microfiber, enabled effective blood plasma (anticoagulant-treated blood) and serum (fresh blood) separation with microscale sample volumes. Sample volume capacity and separation efficiency are customizable for specific applications and devices can be integrated with downstream assay chemistries to develop complete POC devices that offer blood separation and diagnostics at the same time on a single membrane.