In the last decade, microfabrication techniques have been combined with microfluidics and applied to cell biology. Utilizing such new techniques, various cell studies have been performed for the research of stem cells, immune cells, cancer, neurons, etc. Among the various biological applications of microtechnology-based platforms, cell separation technology has been highly regarded in biological and clinical fields for sorting different types of cells, finding circulating tumor cells (CTCs), and blood cell separation, amongst other things. Many cell separation methods have been created using various physical principles. Representatively, these include hydrodynamic, acoustic, dielectrophoretic, magnetic, optical, and filtering methods. In this review, each of these methods will be introduced, and their physical principles and sample applications described. Each physical principle has its own advantages and disadvantages. The engineers who design the systems and the biologists who use them should understand the pros and cons of each method or principle, to broaden the use of microsystems for cell separation. Continuous development of microsystems for cell separation will lead to new opportunities for diagnosing CTCs and cancer metastasis, as well as other elements in the bloodstream.
- cell separation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering