Membranes for Plasma Seperation
A new polymeric, 3-D membrane developed by Pall Life Sciences provides one-step plasma separation from whole blood for use in downstream diagnostic assays. The asymmetric structure of the membrane captures cellular components without lysis. This is in contrast to the standard membrane (glass fiber), which often shears cells, leading to contamination. “Our membrane works with small volumes of blood [from 5 to 100 microliters] but results in full plasma recovery,” stated Galina Fomovska, Ph.D., senior principal scientist, molecular media R&D.
The membrane is available in three different grades, each optimized for various usage conditions, Dr. Fomovska said. GF is not treated and is for small blood applications, like finger sticks in microfluidic and lateral flow point-of-care devices. GX has low post-treatment to help minimize hemolysis and is also compatible with electrochemical analyte detection (good for up to 30 microliters). GR is for larger blood applications (up to 50 microliters) such as lateral flow immunochromatographic devices.
“We provide this separation membrane to people who are developing diagnostics—it’s designed for point-of-care use. We’re looking to move dependency away from the central lab and integrate our materials into a format that will allow testing for different analytes without having to centrifuge the plasma,” said Dr. Fomovska. She added that it is a “broad, universal enabler” that would also be of benefit for personalized medicine (e.g., glucose testing).