CleanPlasma - Automated blood plasma preparation for medical liquid biopsy

We are developing the "next generation centrifuge".

In the future, our CleanPlasma demonstrator will simplify and automate the labor-intensive preparation of blood plasma for liquid biopsy, improve the quality of the plasma obtained, and reduce working time and costs in the process.

Modern diagnostic techniques enable the early detection of diseases based on biomarkers found in blood or other body fluids. For example, the DNA of a tumor released into the blood reveals the cancer even before the tumor becomes visible. Until now, to get at the biomarkers in blood plasma, patient samples have been spun in several steps using a centrifuge to separate the blood cells from the plasma. However, this standard method of sample preparation involves many manual steps and often does not yield the required purity.

Our CleanPlasma technology solves these problems with a completely new approach. Our "centrifuge" is a small microfluidic chip and instead of high mechanical forces, we use gentle sound waves to separate the blood cells and obtain a highly pure plasma sample. Best of all, the CleanPlasma process is fully automatable, allowing sample preparation to be integrated directly into existing diagnostic equipment.


Dr. Stefanie Hartmann

Phone: +49 163 1600548


Research interests

  • Substrate surface modification and functional film design combined with unconventional lithography techniques for next-generation acoustic microsystems
  • Interaction of acoustic wave fields with fluids, particles and microstructures
  • Cointegration of microfluidic, electric and acoustic components in hybrid Lab-on-a-Chip devices
  • Emerging microacoustic applications, including acoustically-driven microfluidics for new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, wireless high-temperature sensing, aerosol generation, (bio-)printing and acoustic deicing of surfaces
  • Applications: Blood-Plasma Separation for Liquid Biopsy (CleanPlasma)
  • Applications: Aerosol generation for Mass-Spectrometry


Group Leader: Dr. Andreas Winkler

Phone: +49 351 4659 575



The group Acoustic Microsystems is in possession or has - in close collaboration with other IFW groups in the fields of microstructuring technology and thin film analytics - direct access to all equipment needed for the work on acoustic-wave based devices in all stations of their development.

  • Equipment and software for chip design, lithography preparation and analysis
  • FEM infrastructure (Comsol Multiphysics) in fast standalone machines and access to computation cluster
  • Specific deposition equipment (CARMEN and SIGGI) for the deposition of complex thin films on piezo- and pyroelectric substrates for magnetron sputtering and e-beam evaporation, including in-situ measurement technology
  • (Access to) rapid prototyping laser and electron beam lithography (Heidelberg Instruments MLA100, µPG 101, EBL Voyager)
  • Custom ovens for thermal treatment of samples up to 1000°C under different atmospheric conditions (vacuum, inert gas, forming gas) as well as for sensor interrogation
  • Dedicated tools for acoustically driven microfluidics (e.g. syringe pumps (Cetoni neMESYS), pressure pumps (Fluigent LineUP, Bartels mp6), valves, flow sensors, dedicated RF signal sources
  • 3D super inkjet printer (SIJ S050), fluid dispenser and contact angle measurement setup
  • Dispersion analyzer (Lumisizer) and aerosol spectrometer (WELAS)
  • Wafer prober station (MPI TS 150) equipped with vector network analyzer (Keysight E5080B ENA), heatable stage and rf/dc probes
  • Digital optical microscope (Keyence VHX 7000) and high-speed camera (Ametek VEO 410)
  • X-Ray fluorescence analysis (Fischerscope XUV773)
  • Mechanical Surface profilometry (Bruker Dektak XT)
  • Custom high-temperature, UHV 2D film stress-measurement system (ANNE)
  • Equipment for electrical (RF and DC) device parameters measurement, e.g. resistivity / sheet resistance and S-Parameters, up to high temperatures and in inert atmosphere