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Patient-Derived Airway Secretion Dissociation Technique To Isolate and Concentrate Immune Cells Using Closed-Loop Inertial Microfluidics

Ryu, Hyunryul, Choi, Kyungyong, Qu, Yanyan, Kwon, Taehong, Lee, Janet S., Han, Jongyoon
Analytical chemistry 2017 v.89 no.10 pp. 5549-5556
acute respiratory distress syndrome, bioassays, cystic fibrosis, elastase, neutrophils, patients, pneumonia, secretion
Assessment of airway secretion cells, both for research and clinical purposes, is a highly desired goal in patients with acute and chronic pulmonary diseases. However, lack of proper cell isolation and enrichment techniques hinder downstream evaluation and characterization of cells found in airway secretions. Here, we demonstrate a novel enrichment method to capture immune-related cells from clinical airway secretions using closed-loop separation of spiral inertial microfluidics (C-sep). By recirculating the output focusing stream back to the input reservoir and running continuously with a high flow processing rate, one can achieve optimal concentration, recovery and purity of airway immune cells from a large volume of diluent, which was not readily possible in the single-pass operation. Our method reproducibly recovers 94.0% of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs), with up to 10⁵ PMNs in clear diluted buffer from 50 μL of airway secretions obtained from mechanically ventilated patients. We show that C-sep isolated PMNs show higher neutrophil elastase (NE) release following activation by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) than cells isolated by conventional mucolytic method. By capturing cells without chemically disrupting their potential function, our method is expected to expand the possibility of clinical in vitro cell based biological assays for various pulmonary diseases such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, and bronchiectasis.