To reduce the problem of cell loss due to adhesion, one of the basic phenomena in microchannel, we proposed the droplet-based magnetically activated cell separator (DMACS). Based on the platform of the DMACS-which consists of permanent magnets, a coverslip with a circle-shaped boundary, and an injection tube-we could collect magnetically (CD45)-labeled (positive) cells with high purity and minimize cell loss due to adhesion. To compare separation efficiency between the MACS and the DMACS, the total number of cells before and after separation with both the separators was counted by flow cytometry. We could find that the number (324159 940) of cells lost in the DMACS is much less than that (22 36059 940) in the MACS while the efficiency of cell separation in the DMACS (96.07%) is almost the same as that in the MACS (96.72%). Practically, with fluorescent images, it was visually confirmed that the statistical data are reliable. From the viability test by using Hoechst 33 342, it was also demonstrated that there was no cell damage on a gas-liquid interface. Conclusively, DMACS will be a powerful tool to separate rare cells and applicable as a separator, key component of lab-on-a-chip.
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