Influence of buoyancy-driven flow on mass transfer in a two-stream microfluidic channel: Introduction of cryoprotective agents into cell suspensions

Rohini Bala Chandran, Jennifer Reinhart, Erin Lemke, Allison Hubel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

A variety of methods have been used to introduce chemicals into a stream or to mix two or more streams of different compositions using microfluidic devices. In the following paper, the introduction of cryoprotective agents (CPAs) used during cryopreservation of cells in order to protect them from freezing injuries and increase viability post thaw is described. Dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO) is the most commonly used CPA. We aim to optimize the operating conditions of a two-stream microfluidic device to introduce a 10% vol/vol solution of DMSO into a cell suspension. Transport behavior of DMSO between two streams in the device has been experimentally characterized for a spectrum of flow conditions (0.7 < Re < 10), varying initial donor stream concentrations, (1% vol/vol < Co < 15% vol/vol) and different flow rate fractions (0.23 < fq < 0.77). The outlet cell stream concentration is analyzed for two different flow configurations: one with the cell stream flowing on top of the DMSO-rich donor stream, and the other with the cell stream flowing beneath the heavy DMSO-laden stream. We establish a transition from a diffusive mode of mass transfer to gravity-influenced convective currents for Atwood numbers (At) in the range of (1.7 × 10-3 < At < 3.1 × 10-3) for the latter configuration. Flow visualization with cells further our understanding of the effect of At on the nature of mass transport. Cell motion studies performed with Jurkat cells confirm a high cell recovery from the device while underscoring the need to collect both the streams at the outlet of the device and suggesting flow conditions that will help us achieve the target DMSO outlet concentration for clinical scale flow rates of the cell suspension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044110
JournalBiomicrofluidics
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 28 2012

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