THE DIAMOND HEMESEP BLOOD PROCESSING UNIT: A REAL-TIME MICROFLUIDIC WHOLE BLOOD SEPARATION PROCESS
Recent advancements in the field of microfabrication and microfluidics have made possible the design of separation devices and clinical diagnostic kits that use relatively smaller volumes of sample material than existing technologies. Using this technology, as well as existing technologies in membrane and immunomagnetic separations, a novel blood processing unit based on microfluidics has been designed. This report will detail the operation and layout of a microfluidic chip that produces three outputs (serum, plasma and a white blood cell lysate) from a human whole blood input. Microfluidic technology has allowed for the design of several distinctive features that make the performance of the blood processing unit comparable to existing centrifuge technologies available clinically and in research laboratories. Among other features, the chip produces a stabilized white blood cell lysate and is designed to match the blueprint of existing 96-well plates. In addition to describing the on-board processes and features of the chip, this report will also discuss the components needed for operation of the chip as well as a process to manufacture the product. This product, known as the Diamond HemeSep blood processing unit, could offer more standardized, efficient blood separation technologies that would benefit health care providers, patients and researchers. Moreover, the product is predicted to have a healthy financial outlook: based on the target market of clinical laboratories performing preclinical and clinical trials involving numerous samples of blood, we expect to sell 1 million cartridges in the first year of production with sales growing to 1.7 million cartridges in the tenth and final year. The net present value (NPV) of the proposed project, based on a selling price of $25 a cartridge, is expected to be $51 million. For the current projections, Series A investors can expect returns of 45%.