Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Sethu, Palaniappan




Circulating nucleated cell populations found in whole blood, including both white blood cells (leukocytes) and endothelial cells, provide an ideal platform for studies seeking to understand the disease processes for development of drugs and treatments. This thesis presents an automated microfluidic device developed for leukocyte enrichment from peripheral blood. Briefly, the device allows for complete lysis of red blood cells and comprehensive analysis of nucleated cell populations in terms of quantity and activation status. The microfluidic lysis device was used in two Sickle Cell disease (SCD) studies to understand the effect of leukocytes in the initiation of vasoocclusive crisis. Findings suggest abnormally high baseline leukocyte counts and variance in clinical expression among SCD patients. Hence, a highly favorable state for an inflammatory reaction that may lead to vasoocclusive episodes exists. To ascertain risk factors in such incidents revision of current SCD patient classification is needed.