Scaled-Up Inertial Microfluidics: Retention System for Microcarrier-Based Suspension Cultures

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Biotechnology Journal, 2019, 14 (5)
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim Recently, particle concentration and filtration using inertial microfluidics have drawn attention as an alternative to membrane and centrifugal technologies for industrial applications, where the target particle size varies between 1 µm and 500 µm. Inevitably, the bigger particle size (>50 µm) mandates scaling up the channel cross-section or hydraulic diameter (DH > 0.5 mm). The Dean-coupled inertial focusing dynamics in spiral microchannels is studied broadly; however, the impacts of secondary flow on particle migration in a scaled-up spiral channel is not fully elucidated. The mechanism of particle focusing inside scaled-up rectangular and trapezoidal spiral channels (i.e., 5–10× bigger than conventional microchannels) with an aim to develop a continuous and clog-free microfiltration system for bioprocessing is studied in detail. Herein, a unique focusing based on inflection point without the aid of sheath flow is reported. This new focusing mechanism, observed in the scaled-up channels, out-performs the conventional focusing scenarios in the previously reported trapezoidal and rectangular channels. Finally, as a proof-of-concept, the utility of this device is showcased for the first time as a retention system for a cell–microcarrier (MC) suspension culture.
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