Advanced Materials Technologies

Advancements in Throughput, Lifetime, Purification, and Workflow for Integrated Nanoscale Deterministic Lateral Displacement

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Nanoscale deterministic lateral displacement (nanoDLD) has emerged as an effective method for separating nanoscopic colloids for applications in molecular biology, yet present limits in throughput, purification, on-chip filtration, and workflow restricting its adoption as a practical separation technology. To overcome these impediments, array scaling and parallelization for integrated nanoDLD (i-nanoDLD) enrichment devices are developed to achieve a density of ≈83 arrays mm−2 with 31 160 parallel arrays, producing an ≈30-fold concentration of the target colloid and a record throughput of 17 mL h−1. Purification using a dual-fluid input embodiment of i-nanoDLD is demonstrated to successfully remove background contaminants from target colloid samples, including urine. Used serially, high-throughput enrichment and purification chips achieve >1700 gain in particle over protein concentration compared to input sample. Additionally, integration of upstream filter banks shows improved operation lifetime > 7× for particles with diameters close to the gap size. Finally, the integrated design and associated flow rates allow a straightforward approach to chip-to-world interfacing as demonstrated using a prototype system for facile, turn-key sample processing. Collectively, these developments advance nanoDLD into the range of sample volumes and process times needed for research and clinical samples.