Negative enrichment of target cells by microfluidic affinity chromatography

Peng Li, Yan Gao, Dimitri Pappas

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23 Scopus citations


A three-dimensional microfluidic channel was developed for high-purity cell separations. This system featured high capture affinity using multiple vertical inlets to an affinity surface. In cell separations, positive selection (capture of the target cell) is usually employed. Negative enrichment, the capture of nontarget cells and elution of target cells, has distinct advantages over positive selection. In negative enrichment, target cells are not labeled and are not subjected to strenuous elution conditions or dilution. As a result, negative enrichment systems are amenable to multistep processes in microfluidic systems. In previous work (Li, P.; Tian, Y.; Pappas, D. Anal. Chem.2011, 83, 774-781), we reported cell capture enhancement effects at vertical inlets to the affinity surface. In this study, we designed a chip that has multiple vertical and horizontal channels, forming a three-dimensional separation system. Enrichment of target cells showed separation purities of 92-96%, compared with straight-channel systems (77% purity). A parallelized chip was also developed for increased sample throughput. A two-channel system showed similar separation purity with twice the sample flow rate. This microfluidic system, featuring high separation purity and ease of fabrication and use is suitable for cell separations when subsequent analysis of target cells is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7863-7869
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2011


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