We report on a microfluidic particle-separation device that makes use of the asymmetric bifurcation of laminar flow around obstacles. A particle chooses its path deterministically on the basis of its size. All particles of a given size follow equivalent migration paths, leading to high resolution. The microspheres of 0.8, 0.9, and 1.0 micrometers that were used to characterize the device were sorted in 40 seconds with a resolution of ∼10 nanometers, which was better than the time and resolution of conventional flow techniques. Bacterial, artificial chromosomes could be separated in 10 minutes with a resolution of ∼12%.
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