Absolute counting of total leukocytes or specific subsets within small amounts of whole blood is difficult due to a lack of techniques that enable separation of all leukocytes from limited amounts of whole blood. In this study, a microfluidic device equipped with a size-controlled microcavity array for highly efficient separation of leukocytes from submicroliters of whole blood was developed. The microcavity array can separate leukocytes from whole blood based on differences in the size and deformability between leukocytes and other blood cells. Leukocytes recovered on aligned microcavities were continuously processed for image-based immunophenotypic analysis. Our device successfully recovered over 90% of leukocytes in 1μL of whole blood without pretreatment such as density gradient centrifugation or erythrocyte lysis. In addition, the proposed system successfully performed absolute enumeration of human CD4 + and CD8 + leukocytes from 1μL of whole blood, and the obtained data showed good correlation with conventional flow cytometric analysis. Our microfluidic device has great potential as a tool for a point-of-care leukocyte analysis system.
- Cell separation
- Microfluidic device
- Whole blood
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology