Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

Document Type



A novel high flow rate cell capture design was introduced to overcome the limitations of the current technologies or methods for rare target cell capture. Even though the rare target cell capture using BioMEMS technology has great potential for cancer diagnosis, previous rare cell capture research could not overcome the limitations of low flow rate or low recovery rate. Rare cell research requires precise sample preparation for accurate results. A new method of preparation for a single or a precise number of target cell was introduced. Current sample preparation methods which are not suitable for rare cell research, such as CTC capture or single cell analysis do not provide precise cell counts below 100. A cell collection chip was designed and used with a polyimide removed capillary tube to collect an exact number of target cells under a microscope. To optimize the dimensions of the high flow rate design, CFD (Fluent v6.3, ANSYS, Inc., Canonsburg, PA, USA) simulation was used. The design focused on a high flow rate at inlet and low axial and lateral velocities in the cell capture regions with a small footprint. Based on the simulation results, the dimensions for several prototypes were determined and fabricated in PMMA. The CTCs, MCF-7 cells, were captured flow rates up to 750 µL/min from 40% red blood cells with 80% recovery rate using the high flow rate device.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Murphy, Michael C.