A scalable approach for high throughput branch flow filtration

David W. Inglis*, Nick Herman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Microfluidic continuous flow filtration methods have the potential for very high size resolution using minimum feature sizes that are larger than the separation size, thereby circumventing the problem of clogging. Branch flow filtration is particularly promising because it has an unlimited dynamic range (ratio of largest passable particle to the smallest separated particle) but suffers from very poor volume throughput because when many branches are used, they cannot be identical if each is to have the same size cut-off. We describe a new iterative approach to the design of branch filtration devices able to overcome this limitation without large dead volumes. This is demonstrated by numerical modelling, fabrication and testing of devices with 20 branches, with dynamic ranges up to 6.9, and high filtration ratios (14-29%) on beads and fungal spores. The filters have a sharp size cutoff (10× depletion for 12% size difference), with large particle rejection equivalent to a 20th order Butterworth low pass filter. The devices are fully scalable, enabling higher throughput and smaller cutoff sizes and they are compatible with ultra low cost fabrication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1724-1731
Number of pages8
JournalLab on a Chip - Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2013

Bibliographical note

Amendment published in Lab Chip, 2014,14, 3429-3430.


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