Highly accurate deterministic lateral displacement device and its application to purification of fungal spores

  • Inglis D
  • Herman N
  • Vesey G
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Abstract

We have designed, built, and evaluated a microfluidic device that uses deterministic lateral displacement for size-based separation. The device achieves almost 100% purity and recovery in continuously sorting two, four, and six micrometer microspheres. We have applied this highly efficient device to the purification of fungal (Aspergillus) spores that are spherical ( approximately 4 mum diameter) with a narrow size distribution. Such separation directly from culture using unfiltered A. niger suspensions is difficult due to a high level of debris. The device produces a two to three increase in the ratio of spores to debris as measured by light scatter in a flow cytometer. The procedure is feasible at densities up to 4.4x10(6) sporesml. This is one of the first studies to apply microfluidic techniques to spore separations and has demonstrated that a passive separation system could significantly reduce the amount of debris in a suspension of fungal spores with virtually no loss of spore material.

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Authors

  • David W. Inglis

  • Nick Herman

  • Graham Vesey

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