Recent advances in microfluidic cell separations

Yan Gao, Wenjie Li, Dimitri Pappas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The isolation and sorting of cells has become an increasingly important step in chemical and biological analyses. As a unit operation in more complex analyses, isolating a phenotypically pure cell population from a heterogeneous sample presents unique challenges. Microfluidic systems are ideal platforms for performing cell separations, enabling integration with other techniques and enhancing traditional separation modalities. In recent years there have been several techniques that use surface antigen affinity, physical interactions, or a combination of the two to achieve high separation purity and efficiency. This review discusses methods including magnetophoretic, acoustophoretic, sedimentation, electric, and hydrodynamic methods for physical separations. We also discuss affinity methods, including magnetic sorting, flow sorting, and affinity capture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4714-4721
Number of pages8
Issue number17
StatePublished - 2013


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