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Spiral microfluidic devices for cell separation and sorting in bioprocesses

Herrmann, Niklas; Neubauer, Peter; Birkholz, Mario

Inertial microfluidic systems have been arousing interest in medical applications due to their simple and cost-efficient use. However, comparably small sample volumes in the microliter and milliliter ranges have so far prevented efficient applications in continuous bioprocesses. Nevertheless, recent studies suggest that these systems are well suited for cell separation in bioprocesses because of their facile adaptability to various reactor sizes and cell types. This review will discuss potential applications of inertial microfluidic cell separation systems in downstream bioprocesses and depict recent advances in inertial microfluidics for bioprocess intensification. This review thereby focusses on spiral microchannels that separate particles at a moderate Reynolds number in a laminar flow (Re < 2300) according to their size by applying lateral hydrodynamic forces. Spiral microchannels have already been shown to be capable of replacing microfilters, extracting dead cells and debris in perfusion processes, and removing contaminant microalgae species. Recent advances in parallelization made it possible to process media on a liter-scale, which might pave the way toward industrial applications.
Published in: Biomicrofluidics, 10.1063/1.5125264, American Institute of Physics (AIP)
  • This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. This article appeared in Biomicrofluidics, 13(6), 061501 (2019) and may be found at

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