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Unlocking the Potential of Triangular Microfluidics

Size-based particle separation is gaining increasing attention in the field of medical analytics. This approach enables the isolation of specific components, such as blood cells or rare circulating tumor cells, from biological fluids based on their size differences. The separated components can then be used for various diagnostic applications, providing valuable insights into a patient's health.

Microfluidic devices are particularly interesting for size-based particle separation because the fluid flow within these devices gives rise to forces that can steer particles towards different streamlines depending on their size. This phenomenon allows for efficient particle separation under high-throughput conditions.

In a recent study Eunhee Cho and colleagues from deMello group investigated the use of a triangular microfluidic device for size-based separation of blood components. They first studied the particle alignment properties within the triangular channel and designed a device that could potentially separate different blood components based on their sizes. The device was tested using 10-fold diluted whole blood samples, and demonstrated the separation of platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells. This new separation technique demonstrates purities of 83.6% for platelets and 49.9% for white blood cells at flow rates between 200 and 800 μl/hr. Furthermore, the study showed that the device could recover 98.5% of rare cells spiked into whole blood, highlighting its potential for rare cell isolation.

This work demonstrates the potential of the triangular microfluidic device for size-based separation of blood components and rare cells from minimally diluted samples. This technology could find applications in various biomedical fields, contributing to the development of microfluidic technologies for medical analytics.

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