On the use of polymeric additives to promote plasma separation from whole blood in open microchannels

E. Lee, J. Berthier, P. Laurent, F. Navarro, M. Cubizolles

Keywords: whole blood, plasma, polymers, PVP, open microfluidics


Polymers additives in whole blood are known to modify blood physical properties. For example, Dextran molecules usually accelerate the aggregation of re-suspended RBCs in Ringer solutions. In this work, we first investigate the effect of polymers such as Dextran, PEG (polyethylene glycol) and PVP (polyvinyl propylene) on the aggregation of RBCs directly in whole blood. We find that Dextran does not promote the aggregation in whole blood (at the opposite of re-suspended RBCs in Ringer solutions), which PEG and PVP achieve. In a second step, we make use of the aggregative properties of PEG and PVP to boost plasma separation from whole blood. The approach is based on a faster sedimentation rate of RBCs aggregated by the polymers.