The ability to increase the functionality and complexity of micro/nanofluidic devices is currently limited by the capacity to accurately detect the position of fluids within them. While an increased number of electrical sensors can improve detection capabilities, the presence of too many external electrical connections makes integration into the micro/nanofluidic network difficult and complicated. This invention is a method for connecting large arrays of electrical micro/nanofluidic sensors to external monitoring equipment, while using only a limited number of leads.
Sensors consisting of small electrical components (resistors, capacitors, or conduction gaps) are placed within an interconnected fluidic network and are addressed using a multiplexing approach that allows an array of m*n sensors to be supported by only m+n+1 electrical contacts. The multiplexing relies on the fact that each sensing element is connected to two electrical leads, and each electrical lead is connected to multiple sensing elements. This is a new structure for the purpose of sensing in massively parallel fashion (electrical sensor arrays) while reducing the external connections necessary to address each individual sensor element in the field of lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology. Large arrays of electrical sensors that can be integrated in micro/nanofluidic networks can be controlled and addressed by a limited number of electrical leads that connect to low end electronic controls.
- Lab-On-Chip (LOC) technologies
- Electrical Microfluidic/Microscale Sensors
- Micro/Nanofluidic Control Structures
- Reduces the size of current micro/nanofluidic devices
- Increases the functionality and complexity of devices without compromising size
- Increases the overall sensitivity of a circuit with capacitive and conductive sensors, improving sensing accuracy
- Applicable to virtually any micro/nano-scale electrical sensing network
- Easy to implement