Deterministic lateral displacement (DLD) pillar arrays are an efficient technology to sort, separate and enrich micrometre-scale particles, which include parasites, bacteria, blood cells and circulating tumour cells in blood. However, this technology has not been translated to the true nanoscale, where it could function on biocolloids, such as exosomes. Exosomes, a key target of â €liquid biopsies', are secreted by cells and contain nucleic acid and protein information about their originating tissue. One challenge in the study of exosome biology is to sort exosomes by size and surface markers. We use manufacturable silicon processes to produce nanoscale DLD (nano-DLD) arrays of uniform gap sizes ranging from 25 to 235nm. We show that at low Péclet (Pe) numbers, at which diffusion and deterministic displacement compete, nano-DLD arrays separate particles between 20 to 110nm based on size with sharp resolution. Further, we demonstrate the size-based displacement of exosomes, and so open up the potential for on-chip sorting and quantification of these important biocolloids.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Biomedical Engineering
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering