A microfluidic device to study red blood cell deformability

Abstract : In this paper we present a microfluidic architecture dedicated to the study of Red Blood Cells (RBCs) deformability in microchannel smaller than the cell shape (biconcave disc of 7-8 μm in diameter) and cell capability to pass through slits separated by a gap value down to 2 μm, acting as a filter. This device is use in the context of RBCs disorders affecting their deformability, which is analysed versus number of cells trapped in the filter. This device can be seen as mimicking the human spleen. Microfabrication of the chip is based on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) associated to a two level thick photoresist mould (SU8). One level is used for microfluidic access with a 25 μm thickness towards the studied zone. The second level concerns the mimicking zones where RBCs flow through 5 μm down to 2 μm-wide slits acting like a mechanical filter. This level has a thickness of 5 μm. Devices have been tested on RBCs having specific disorder on their mechanical elasticity in order to validate the design principle. Two cases are presented in this paper: a.) Sickle RBCs inducing cell rigidity at two levels b.) Parasitized RBCs by Plasmodium falciparum. On both cases, we clearly show that deformability of RBCs influences the capability to pass through small slits (down to 2um) and thus is in relation with the pathology stage. This spleen-like microfluidic chip mimicking the RBCs filtering function is a promising tool for the exploration of RBC disorders combined with mechanical alterations.
Complete list of metadatas

Contributor : Olivier Francais <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - 12:08:39 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - 2:54:15 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01113061, version 1


Wassim El Nemer, Papa Alioune Ndour, Sophie D. Lefevre, Harvey Tawfik, Julien Picot, et al.. A microfluidic device to study red blood cell deformability. 4th European Conference on Microfluidics, Dec 2014, Limerick, Ireland. ⟨hal-01113061⟩



Record views