On-chip blood plasma separators using microfluidic channels are typically developed as disposable devices for short-term use only because blood cells tend to clog the microchannels, limiting their application in real-time and continuous systems. In this study, we propose an anti-clogging method. We applied dielectrophoresis to prevent microchannel clogging in a plasma separator that can be used over long periods for real-time and continuous monitoring. Prior to applying the anti-clogging method, the blood plasma separator stopped working after 4 h. In contrast, by manipulating the separator with the new anti-clogging method at a voltage of 20 V, it continued working in a long-term experiment for 12 h without performance deterioration or an increase in cell loss. Two critical performance parameters of the manipulated separator, the purity efficiency and the plasma yield, were 97.23 ± 5.43% and 38.95 ± 9.34%, respectively, at 20 V after 15 min. Interestingly, the two performance parameters did not decrease during the long-term experiment. Hence, the blood plasma separator with the anti-clogging method is an interesting device for use in real-time and continuous blood plasma separation systems because of its consistent performance and improved lifespan.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Technology Innovation Program (10077651, Development of IoT fusion sensor system based on artificial intelligence) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea).
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