Separation of parasites from human blood using deterministic lateral displacement†
We present the use of a simple microfluidic technique to separate living parasites from human blood. Parasitic trypanosomatids cause a range of human and animal diseases. African trypanosomes, responsible for human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), live free in the blood and other tissue fluids. Diagnosis relies on detection and due to their often low numbers against an overwhelming background of predominantly red blood cells it is crucial to separate the parasites from the blood. By modifying the method of deterministic lateral displacement, confining parasites and red blood cells in channels of optimized depth which accentuates morphological differences, we were able to achieve separation thus offering a potential route to diagnostics.