Red blood cell quantification microfluidic chip using polyelectrolytic gel electrodes

Kwang Bok Kim, Hoggu Chun, Hee Chan Kim, Taek Dong Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports on a novel microfluidic chip with polyelectrolytic gel electrodes (PGEs) used to rapidly count the number of red blood cells (RBCs) in diluted whole blood. The proposed microdevice is based on the principle that the impedance across a microchannel between two PGEs varies sensitively as RBCs pass through it. The number and amplitude of impedance peaks provide the information about the number and size of RBCs, respectively. This system features a low-voltage dc detection method and noncontact condition between cells and metal electrodes. Major advantages include stable detection under varying cellular flow rate and position in the microchannel, little chance of cell damage due to high electric field gradient and no surface fouling of the metal electrodes. The performance of this PGEs-based system was evaluated in three steps. First, in order to observe the size-only dependence of the impedance signal, three different sizes of fluorescent microbeads (7.2, 10.0, and 15.0 mm; Bangs laboratories, USA) were used in the experiment. Second, the cell counting performance was evaluated by using 7.2 μm fluorescent microbeads, similar in size to RBCs, in various concentrations and comparing the results with an animal hematoanalyzer (MS 9-5; Melet schloesing laboratories, France). Finally, in human blood sample tests, intravenously collected whole blood was just diluted in a PBS without centrifuge or other pretreatments. The PGE-based system produced almost identical number of RBCs in over 800-fold diluted samples to the results from a commercialized human hematoanalyzer (HST-N402XE; Sysmex, Japan).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1464-1469
Number of pages6
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Hematoanalyzer
  • Microfluidic chip
  • Polyelectrolytic gel electrode
  • Red blood cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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