Shape-based separation of microalga Euglena gracilis using inertial microfluidics

Ming Li, Hector Enrique Muñoz, Keisuke Goda, Dino Di Carlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)


Euglena gracilis (E. gracilis) has been proposed as one of the most attractive microalgae species for biodiesel and biomass production, which exhibits a number of shapes, such as spherical, spindle-shaped, and elongated. Shape is an important biomarker for E. gracilis, serving as an indicator of biological clock status, photosynthetic and respiratory capacity, cell-cycle phase, and environmental condition. The ability to prepare E. gracilis of uniform shape at high purities has significant implications for various applications in biological research and industrial processes. Here, we adopt a label-free, high-throughput, and continuous technique utilizing inertial microfluidics to separate E. gracilis by a key shape parameter-cell aspect ratio (AR). The microfluidic device consists of a straight rectangular microchannel, a gradually expanding region, and five outlets with fluidic resistors, allowing for inertial focusing and ordering, enhancement of the differences in cell lateral positions, and accurate separation, respectively. By making use of the shape-activated differences in lateral inertial focusing dynamic equilibrium positions, E. gracilis with different ARs ranging from 1 to 7 are directed to different outlets.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10802
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


Dive into the research topics of 'Shape-based separation of microalga Euglena gracilis using inertial microfluidics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this