Continuous flow microfluidic separation and processing of rare cells and bioparticles found in blood – A review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Rare cells in blood, such as circulating tumor cells or fetal cells in the maternal circulation, posses a great prognostic or diagnostic value, or for the development of personalized medicine, where the study of rare cells could provide information to more specifically targeted treatments. When conventional cell separation methods, such as flow cytometry or magnetic activated cell sorting, have fallen short other methods are desperately sought for. Microfluidics have been extensively used towards isolating and processing rare cells as it offers possibilities not present in the conventional systems. Furthermore, microfluidic methods offer new possibilities for cell separation as they often rely on non-traditional biomarkers and intrinsic cell properties. This offers the possibility to isolate cell populations that would otherwise not be targeted using conventional methods. Here, we provide an extensive review of the latest advances in continuous flow microfluidic rare cell separation and processing with each cell's specific characteristics and separation challenges as a point of view.


External organisations
  • University of Copenhagen
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • Dongguk University, Seoul
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Medicinal Chemistry


  • Cell separation, CTC, Microfluidics, nRBC, Rare cell
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-35
Number of pages27
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1
Publication categoryResearch