Discontinuous Nanoporous Membranes Reduce Non-Specific Fouling for Immunoaffinity Cell Capture

Authors

  • Sukant Mittal,

    1. BioMEMS Resource Center, Center for Engineering in Medicine and Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 114 16th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA
    2. Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • Ian Y. Wong,

    1. BioMEMS Resource Center, Center for Engineering in Medicine and Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 114 16th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. School of Engineering, Brown University, Providence RI 02912, USA
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  • Ahmet Ali Yanik,

    1. BioMEMS Resource Center, Center for Engineering in Medicine and Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 114 16th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA
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  • William M. Deen,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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  • Mehmet Toner

    Corresponding author
    1. BioMEMS Resource Center, Center for Engineering in Medicine and Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 114 16th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA
    2. Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
    • BioMEMS Resource Center, Center for Engineering in Medicine and Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 114 16th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.

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Abstract

The microfluidic isolation of target cells using adhesion-based surface capture has been widely explored for biology and medicine. However, high-throughput processing can be challenging due to interfacial limitations such as transport, reaction, and non-specific fouling. Here, it is shown that antibody-functionalized capture surfaces with discontinuous permeability enable efficient target cell capture at high flow rates by decreasing fouling. Experimental characterization and theoretical modeling reveal that “wall effects” affect cell–surface interactions and promote excess surface accumulation. These issues are partially circumvented by reducing the transport and deposition of cells near the channel walls. Optimized microfluidic devices can be operated at higher cell concentrations with significant improvements in throughput.

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