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Journal of Automatic Chemistry
Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 6-9

Automated processing of whole blood samples into microliter aliquots of plasma

1Chemical Technology, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA
2Instrumentation and Controls, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA
3Plant and Equipment Divisions, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA

Copyright © 1988 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A rotor that accepts and automatically processes a bulk aliquot of a single blood sample into multiple aliquots of plasma has been designed and built. The rotor consists of a central processing unit, which includes a disk containing eight precision-bore capillaries. By varying the internal diameters of the capillaries, aliquot volumes ranging 1 to 10 µl can be prepared. In practice, an unmeasured volume of blood is placed in a centre well, and, as the rotor begins to spin, is moved radially into a central annular ring where it is distributed into a series of processing chambers. The rotor is then spun at 3000 rpm for 10 min. When the centrifugal field is removed by slowly decreasing the rotor speed, an aliquot of plasma is withdrawn by capillary action into each of the capillary tubes. The disk containing the eight measured aliquots of plasma is subsequently removed and placed in a modifed rotor for conventional centrifugal analysis. Initial evaluation of the new rotor indicates that it is capable of producing discrete, microliter volumes of plasma with a degree of accuracy and precision approaching that of mechanical pipettes.