Blood plasma separation in microfluidic channels using flow rate control

Sung Yang, Akif Undar, Jeffrey D. Zahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Several studies have clearly shown that cardiac surgery induces systemic inflammatory responses, particularly when cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is used. CPB induces complex inflammatory responses. Considerable evidence suggests that systemic inflammation causes many postoperative complications. Currently, there is no effective method to prevent this systemic inflammatory response syndrome in patients undergoing CPB. The ability to clinically intervene in inflammation, or even study the inflammatory response to CPB, is limited by the lack of timely measurements of inflammatory responses. In this study, a microfluidic device for continuous, real-time blood plasma separation, which may be integrated with downstream plasma analysis device, is introduced. This device is designed to have a whole blood inlet, a purified plasma outlet, and a concentrated blood cell outlet. The device is designed to separate plasma with up to 45% hematocrit of the inlet blood and is analyzed using computational fluid dynamics simulation. The simulation results show that 27% and 25% of plasma can be collected from the total inlet blood volume for 45% and 39% hematocrit, respectively. The device's functionality was demonstrated using defibrinated sheep blood (hematocrit = 39%). During the experiment, all the blood cells traveled through the device toward the concentrated blood outlet while only the plasma flowed towards the plasma outlet without any clogging or lysis of cells. Because of its simple structure and control mechanism, this microdevice is expected to be used for highly efficient, real-time, continuous cell-free plasma separation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)585-590
Number of pages6
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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