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  Cornell University

MAE Publications and Papers

Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

New article: HERMES: rapid blood-plasma separation at the point-of-need

Article: Vemulapati, S; Erickson, D; “HERMES: rapid blood-plasma separation at the point-of-need”, Lab on a Chip, 18 (21): 3285-3292


Abstract: The global healthcare landscape is experiencing increasing demand for CLIA-waived testing facilities that offer diagnostic capabilities at lower costs and greater convenience than traditional laboratory testing.

While several new diagnostic tools have emerged to fulfill testing requirements in these environments, centrifuges have been stymied from transitioning to the point-of-need as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies them as mostly unsuitable for use in CLIA-waived environments. Limitations in sample processing capabilities adversely affects the ability for CLIA-waived testing environments to offer a broad testing portfolio and present-day diagnostics are bottlenecked by the requirement for centrifugation. Here we present the High Efficiency Rapid Magnetic Erythrocyte Separator (H.E.R.M.E.S), a rapid low-cost technology that can perform the separation of red blood cells from plasma at a fraction of the time and cost of that of a centrifuge. We demonstrate that H.E.R.M.E.S is able to obtain highly-pure plasma (greater than 99.9% purity) at less than 2 minutes per test. Further, we detail that it is an easy-to-use method capable of being incorporated with present-day diagnostic technologies and prove that it is superior to existing alternatives to centrifugation by validation with a ferritin lateral flow test. H.E.R.M.E.S is a suitable alternative for centrifugation in point-of-need settings and aims to facilitate the decentralization of commercial blood testing.

Funding Acknowledgement:  NSF [1343058]; Cornell University College of Engineering Scale Up and Prototyping Award

Funding Text:  SV and DE would like to thank Vicky Simon in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University for analyzing the true ferritin values of the sample. They would also like to acknowledge that the device was 3D-printed at the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility (CNF). Funding: part of this work was funded with NSF award #1343058 and a Cornell University College of Engineering Scale Up and Prototyping Award. Author contributions: SV was involved in data collection, data analysis and manuscript and figure preparation. DE contributed to writing and editing the manuscript.

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