Microalgae-unicellular photosynthetic organisms-have received increasing attention for their ability to biologically convert CO2 into valuable products. The commercial use of microalgae requires screening strains to improve the biomass productivity to achieve a high-Throughput. Here, we developed a microfluidic method that uses a magnetic field to separate the microdroplets containing different concentrations of microalgal cells. The separation efficiency is maximized using the following parameters that influence the amount of lateral displacement of the microdroplets: magnetic nanoparticle concentration, flow rate of droplets, x-and y-Axis location of the magnet, and diameter of the droplets. Consequently, 91.90% of empty, 87.12% of low-, and 90.66% of high-density droplets could be separated into different outlets through simple manipulation of the magnetic field in the microfluidic device. These results indicate that cell density-based separation of microdroplets using a magnetic force can provide a promising platform to isolate microalgal species with a high growth performance.
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