Influence of Hydrodynamics and Hematocrit on Ultrasound-Induced Blood Plasmapheresis

Itziar González, Roque Rubén Andrés , Alberto Pinto and Pilar Carreras
Micromachines 2020, 11, 751

Acoustophoretic blood plasma separation is based on cell enrichment processes driven by acoustic radiation forces. The combined influence of hematocrit and hydrodynamics has not yet been quantified in the literature for these processes acoustically induced on blood. In this paper, we present an experimental study of blood samples exposed to ultrasonic standing waves at different hematocrit percentages and hydrodynamic conditions, in order to enlighten their individual influence on the acoustic response of the samples. The experiments were performed in a glass capillary (700 µm-square cross section) actuated by a piezoelectric ceramic at a frequency of 1.153 MHz, hosting 2D orthogonal half-wavelength resonances transverse to the channel length, with a single-pressure-node along its central axis. Different hematocrit percentages Hct = 2.25%, 4.50%, 9.00%, and 22.50%, were tested at eight flow rate conditions of Q = 0:80 µL/min. Cells were collected along the central axis driven by the acoustic radiation force, releasing plasma progressively free of cells. The study shows an optimal performance in a flow rate interval between 20 and 80 µL/min for low hematocrit percentages Hct ≤ 9.0%, which required very short times close to 10 s to achieve cell-free plasma in percentages over 90%. This study opens new lines for low-cost personalized blood diagnosis.

Picture of the setup and (b) schematic of the plasmapheresis microchip actuated by ultrasound, governed by a resonance transverse to the channel length/flow motion