Microfluidic Particle Sorting in Concentrated Erythrocyte Suspensions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


An important step in diagnostics is the isolation of specific cells and microorganisms of interest from blood. Since such bioparticles are often present at very low concentrations, throughput needs to be as high as possible. In addition, to ensure simplicity, a minimum of sample preparation is important. Therefore, sorting schemes that function for whole blood are highly desirable. Deterministic lateral displacement (DLD) devices have proven to be very precise and versatile in terms of a wide range of sorting parameters. To better understand how DLD devices perform for blood as the hematocrit increases, we carry out measurements and simulations for spherical particles in the micrometer range which move through DLD arrays for different flow velocities and hematocrits ranging from pure buffer to concentrated erythrocyte suspensions mimicking whole blood. We find that the separation function of the DLD array is sustained even though the blood cells introduce a shift in the trajectories and a significant dispersion for particles whose diameters are close to the critical size in the device. Simulations qualitatively replicate our experimental observations and help us identify fundamental mechanisms for the effect of hematocrit on the performance of the DLD device.


External organisations
  • Jülich Research Centre
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Condensed Matter Physics
Original languageEnglish
Article number014051
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch

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