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Capillary flow of blood in a microchannel with differential wetting for blood plasma separation and on-chip glucose detection
The Essentials of Diagnostics whitepaper, DX Insights, January 2012.
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We report capillary flow of blood in a microchannel with differential wetting for the separation of a plasma from sample blood and subsequent on-chip detection of glucose present in a plasma. A rectangular polydimethylsiloxane microchannel with hydrophilic walls (on three sides) achieved by using oxygen plasma exposure enables capillary flow of blood introduced at the device inlet through the microchannel. A hydrophobic region (on all four sides) in the microchannel impedes the flow of sample blood, and the accumulated blood cells at the region form a filter to facilitate the separation of a plasma. The modified wetting property of the walls and hence the device performance could be retained for a few weeks by covering the channels with deionised water. The effects of the channel cross-section, exposure time, waiting time, and location and length of the hydrophobic region on the volume of the collected plasma are studied. Using a channel cross-section of 1000 × 400 μm, an exposure time of 2 min, a waiting time of 10 min, and a hydrophobic region of width 1.0 cm located at 10 mm from the device inlet, 450 nl of plasma was obtained within 15 min. The performance of the device was found to be unaffected (provides 450 nl of plasma in 15 min) even after 15 days. The purification efficiency and plasma recovery of the device were measured and found to be comparable with that obtained using the conventional centrifugation process. Detection of glucose at different concentrations in whole blood of normal and diabetic patients was performed (using 5 μl of sample blood within 15 min) to demonstrate the compatibility of the device with integrated detection modules.
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