Plasma separation from raw whole blood is usually required for blood-based clinical diagnostics. Conventional centrifugation method is not suitable for on-site or bedside applications. To this end, we have developed and demonstrated various centrifuge-free plasma/serum separators based on different separation mechanisms (i.e., crossflow filtration (Fig. A), sedimentation-assisted, size exclusion-based filtration (Fig. B and C)). Our superhydrophobic plasma separator (Fig. C) shows a high plasma yield of above 70% with finger-prick blood (see video). The plasma yield is defined as the ratio of the volume of plasma extracted by the separator (Vseparator) and the volume of plasma separated by benchtop centrifugation (Vcentrifugation)). This technology has been licensed to companies for commercialization. We are further integrating our plasma separator with other diagnostic device to develop a fully integrated “blood-to-result” diagnostic system.
Our research in this field has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Natural Science Foundation of China.