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Hydrodynamic cells separation in microfluidic device
1  Huazhong University of Science and Technology


Techniques based on continuous fractionation by hydrodynamic interaction are attractive, due to their simple structure, robustness and potential high throughput. We developed a new approach for particle separation by introducing viscosity difference of the sheath flows to form an asymmetric focusing of sample particle flow. This approach relies on the high-velocity gradient in the asymmetric focusing of the particle flow to generate a lift force, which plays a dominated role in the particle separation. The larger particles migrate away from the original streamline to the side of the higher relative velocity, while the smaller particles remain close to the streamline. Under high-viscosity (glycerol–water solution) and low-viscosity (PBS) sheath flows, a significant large stroke separation between the smaller (1.0 μm) and larger (9.9 μm) particles was achieved in a sample micro fluidic device. We demonstrate that the flow rate and the viscosity difference of the sheath flows have an impact on the interval distance of the particle separation that affects the collected purity and on the focusing distribution of the smaller particles that affects the collected concentration. This separation method proposed in our work can potentially be applied to biological and medical applications due to the wide interval distance and the narrow focusing distribution of the particle separation, by easy manufacturing in a simple device.