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Enhanced Molecular Diagnosis of Bloodstream Candida Infection with Size-Based Inertial Sorting at Submicron Resolution

Enhanced Molecular Diagnosis of Bloodstream Candida Infection with Size-Based Inertial Sorting at Submicron Resolution

Analytical Chemistry 92(23): 15579-15586

ISSN/ISBN: 0003-2700

PMID: 33191733

DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.0c03718

Inertial microfluidics has been proven to be a powerful tool for high-throughput, size-based cell sorting in diverse biomedical applications. In the case of Candida-related sepsis, Candida species and major blood cells (i.e., red blood cells and white blood cells) have a size distribution of 3-5 and 6-30 μm, respectively. To effectively retrieve a majority of Candida species and remove most of the interfering blood cells for accurate molecular analysis, inertial sorting of micron-sized biological particles with submicron size difference is highly desired, but far unexplored till now. In this work, we present a new channel design for an inertial microfluidic sorting device by embedding microsquares to construct periodic contractions along a series of repeating curved units. This unique channel design allows us to enhance inertial lift force at the microsquare zone and produce localized secondary Dean flow drag force in addition to global Dean flow drag force. This inertial sorting device has successfully separated 5.5 μm particles from 6.0 μm particles with a recovery ratio higher than 80% and a purity higher than 92%, demonstrating a size-based inertial sorting at submicron resolution (i.e., 0.5 μm). We further applied this inertial sorting device to purify Candida species from whole blood sample for enhanced molecular diagnosis of bloodstream Candida infection and especially compared it with the commonly used lysis-centrifugation-based purification method (STEM method) by recovering two species of Candida (Cornus glabrata and Candida albicans) from Candida-spiked blood samples. Through quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis, we found that our inertial sorting approach has nearly 3-fold improvement on the pathogen recovery than the STEM method at pathogen abundances of 103 cfu/mL and 102 cfu/mL. The present inertial sorting at submicron resolution provides a simple, rapid, and efficient pathogen purification method for significantly improved molecular diagnosis of bloodstream Candida infection.

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Accession: 071702725

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