This technology describes a fabrication method for multi-channel, multi-layered microfluidic devices, with numerous functional characteristics capable of integration into a lab-on-a-chip platform. The chip allows broader analytical capabilities in point-of-use microfluidic technology than previously possible, and it does so with exceeding strength and stability.
Fabrication of this chip is made possible by a transfer process of labile membranes and the development of a contact printing method for a thermally curable epoxy-based adhesive. This adhesive has bond strengths that prevent leakage, channel rupture and delamination to nearly 6atm. Channels on the chip - 100 m wide and 20 m deep - are contact printed without the adhesive entering the microchannel.
The chip is characterized in terms of resistivity measurements along the microfluidic channels, electroosmotic flow (EOF) measurements at differing pH levels and laser-induced-fluorescence (LIF) detection of green-fluorescent (GFP) plugs injected across the nanocapillary membrane and into a microfluidic channel. The resulting product is a mixed-polymer micro-nanofluidic multilayer chip, which has the electrical characteristics necessary for use in microanalytical systems.
- Solution sample clean-up and preparation: Prepare materials for research faster than ever before.
- Automated lab-on-a-chip: Develop high-throughput, fully-automated systems for life sciences research and drug discovery investigation.
- Laboratory-tests-on-a-card or "Lab Cards": Analyze blood and tissue samples on the spot with portable and hand-held devices.
- Built-in NCAMs: The NCAM (nanocapillary-array membranes) acts as an electrostatic "gateway," permitting only compounds of a particular size and charge to pass through. Integration of NCAMs into microfluidic devices increases the chips' sophistication and analytical capabilities by permitting simultaneous sample streams, multiple molecular manipulations, and controlled reactions and optical verification.
- Vertical nanocapillary interconnects: Sandwiching the NCAMs between layers of nanocapillary interconnects increases both scalability and complexity by allowing unique operations such as the separation of analytes based upon molecular size, channel isolation, enhanced mixing, and sample concentration.
- Optically transparent: Inspect fluids within the channels in the near UV and visible light spectrum.
- Incorporate numerous layers: With large arrays of NCAMS and nanocapillary interconnects, the fabrication method enables a wide degree of functional complexity because each layer can be optimized to a particular task.
- Reliable structure: Strong bonding during fabrication produces a high-test chip, whose nanocapillary arrays maintain stability up to nearly 6atm of pressure, even when several arrays are stacked together.
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