Cell motion and recovery in a two-stream microfluidic device

Clara Mata, Ellen Longmire, David McKenna, Katie Glass, Allison Hubel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The motion of cells in a two-stream microflu-idic device designed to extract cryoprotective agents from cell suspensions was tested under a range of conditions. Jurkat cells (lymphoblasts) in a 10% dimethylsulfoxide solution were driven in parallel with phosphate-buffered saline solution wash streams through single rectangular channel sections and multiple sections in series. The influence of cell-stream flow rate and cell volume fraction (CVF) on cell viability and recovery were examined. The channel depth was 500 μm, and average cell stream velocity within the channels was varied from 3.6 to 8.5 mm/s corresponding with cell stream Reynolds numbers of 2.6-6.0. Cell viability measured at device outlets was high for all cases examined indicating no significant cell damage within the device. Downstream of a single stage, cell recoveries measured 90-100% for average cell stream velocities ≥6 mm/s and for CVFs up to 20%. Cell recovery downstream of multistage devices also measured 90-100% after a critical device population time. This time was found to be five times the average cell residence time within the device. The measured recovery values were significantly larger than those typically obtained using conventional cell washing methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-465
Number of pages9
JournalMicrofluidics and Nanofluidics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was funded by the National Institutes of Health (R21EB004857). The authors thank Dave Hultman for assistance with facility design, Brian Darr for help with cell culturing and Jacob Hanna for help with additional experiments.


  • Biological cell
  • Cell processing
  • Cryopreservation
  • Laminar channel flow
  • Microfluidics


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