Available Technologies

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High efficiency, superhydrophobic clamshell plasma separator for point-of-care diagnostics


Membrane-based, sedimentation-assisted plasma separator



High sensitivity, point-of-care clinical tests, such as HIV viral load, require large volumes of plasma extracted from whole blood. Centrifugation is widely used for separating plasma, but it is not always accessible in resource-poor settings. 


Current microfluidic systems require extensive blood dilution that adversely affects the limit of detection, which is critical in high sensitivity tests such as viral load detection.



 The Bau lab has developed a point-of-care device for highly efficient, rapid plasma separation using a superhydrophobic material and gravitational sedimentation. This is the second generation plasma separator device from the lab. 


The plasma separator has a clamshell design, with a superhydrophobic top cover and bottom substrate. In order to increase the membrane separation capacity and plasma yield, the separation membrane is at the top of the whole blood film. 


By adding the superhydrophobic coating, surface bioadhesion of the blood is minimized, the blood clotting time is increased, and blood cell hemolysis is reduced.  Furthermore, the loss of target biomolecules is prevented, with high recovery efficiency. 


This device can be used without external instrumentation and in resource-poor regions without electricity or specially trained medical personnel.



  • Haim H. Bau, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics
  • Changchun Liu, Assistant Research Professor
  • Michael Mauk, Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor



  • Low-cost and disposable
  • Rapid process (<10 min)
  • Easy to administer
  • No requirement for electrical power
  • Minimal surface adhesion and blood cell hemolysis



  • Separate plasma from whole blood
  • Detect viral load when combined with nucleic acid testing on microfluidic chip
  • Use in resource-poor regions without trained staff, laboratory facilities, or electricity


Stage of Development: 

Prototype developed and in vitro proof-of-concept testing


Intellectual Property: 

 PCT pending (WO 201595491 A1)


Reference Media: 


Desired Partnerships: 

  • License
  • Co-development

Docket # 14-6973 


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Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Joshua Jeanson
Associate Director, SEAS/SAS Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania
Haim Bau
Changchun Liu
Michael Mauk