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Issue 3, 2016
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A high-efficiency superhydrophobic plasma separator

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To meet stringent limit-of-detection specifications for low abundance target molecules, a relatively large volume of plasma is needed for many blood-based clinical diagnostics. Conventional centrifugation methods for plasma separation are not suitable for on-site testing or bedside diagnostics. Here, we report a simple, yet high-efficiency, clamshell-style, superhydrophobic plasma separator that is capable of separating a relatively large volume of plasma from several hundred microliters of whole blood (finger-prick blood volume). The plasma separator consists of a superhydrophobic top cover with a separation membrane and a superhydrophobic bottom substrate. Unlike previously reported membrane-based plasma separators, the separation membrane in our device is positioned at the top of the sandwiched whole blood film to increase the membrane separation capacity and plasma yield. In addition, the device's superhydrophobic characteristics (i) facilitates the formation of well-defined, contracted, thin blood film with a high contact angle; (ii) minimizes biomolecular adhesion to surfaces; (iii) increases blood clotting time; and (iv) reduces blood cell hemolysis. The device demonstrated a “blood in-plasma out” capability, consistently extracting 65 ± 21.5 μL of plasma from 200 μL of whole blood in less than 10 min without electrical power. The device was used to separate plasma from Schistosoma mansoni genomic DNA-spiked whole blood with a recovery efficiency of >84.5 ± 25.8%. The S. mansoni genomic DNA in the separated plasma was successfully tested on our custom-made microfluidic chip by using loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method.

Graphical abstract: A high-efficiency superhydrophobic plasma separator

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The article was received on 08 Oct 2015, accepted on 18 Dec 2015 and first published on 21 Dec 2015

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5LC01235J
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Citation: Lab Chip, 2016,16, 553-560
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    A high-efficiency superhydrophobic plasma separator

    C. Liu, S. Liao, J. Song, M. G. Mauk, X. Li, G. Wu, D. Ge, R. M. Greenberg, S. Yang and H. H. Bau, Lab Chip, 2016, 16, 553
    DOI: 10.1039/C5LC01235J

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