ME 100/200 Seminar on "Clinical validation of a low cost blood filtration element separating plasma from undiluted whole blood"


Monday, November 7, 2011 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm


ESB 2001


Alexandra Homsy, EPFL-STI-SAMLAB, Switzerland

Abstract:  After a brief presentation of the activities of SAMLAB in the microfluidics area, I will present our research in low cost microfluidic devices for plasma separation from whole blood.

Clinical Point of Care testing often needs plasma instead of whole blood. As centrifugation is labor intensive and not always accessible, filtration is a more appropriate separation technique. The complexity of whole blood is such that there is still no commercially available filtration system capable of separating small sample volumes (10-100 μL) at the point of care. The microfluidics research in blood filtration is very active but to date nobody has validated a low cost device that simultaneously filtrates small samples of whole blood and reproducibly recovers clinically relevant biomarkers, and all this in a limited amount of time with undiluted raw samples. I will first show you that plasma filtration from undiluted whole blood is feasible and reproducible in a low-cost microfluidic device. This novel microfluidic blood filtration element (BFE) extracts 12 μL of plasma from 100 μL of whole blood in less than 10 minutes. Then, I will demonstrate that our device is valid for clinical studies by our measurements of the adsorption of interleukins through our system. This adsorption is reproducible for interleukins IL6, IL8, and IL10 but not for TNFα. Hence our BFE is valid for clinical diagnostics with simple calibration prior to performing any measurement.

Bio:  Dr. Alexandra Homsy was born in Annemasse (France) in 1976. She has a Master in Physics from EPFL, and a PhD ès Sciences from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. She then went to the Tyndall National Institute in Cork – Ireland for one year where she developed multiphase microfluidics systems for liquid-liquid molecular extraction. Since 2007 she is a team leader for microfluidic systems in Prof. Nico de Rooij’s laboratory at EPFL-STI-SAMLAB - Switzerland. Her research focuses on integrated systems for liquid propulsion and analysis. She also takes particular attention to low cost materials and replication technology for the industrialization of microfluidics systems.

Host:  Prof. Sumita Pennathur

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