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Book ChapterDOI

Design of a Mixer for Performing Efficient Mixing to Reduce Overall Assay Response Time

01 Jan 2015-pp 559-568

TL;DR: The effects of varying mixer sizes are studied and the proposed of mixing strategies applicable to some Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) where a series of mixing is required.

AbstractDigital Microfluidic Biochip (DMFB) is revolutionizing many areas of Microelectronics, Biochemistry, and Biomedical sciences. It is also known as ‘Lab-on-a-Chip’ for its popularity as an alternative for laboratory experiments. The mixing of samples and reagents for a biological or chemical lab-on-a-chip is important, yet difficult, in microfluidic operations. As volume is of the order of sub-nanoliter, the mixing of liquids is hindered by laminar flow conditions. The fixed geometric parameters of the mixer and the type of movement of the coalesced droplet control droplet mixing time. In this paper, we study the effects of varying mixer sizes and propose of mixing strategies applicable to some Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) where a series of mixing is required. A design of mixer has been proposed including its pin assignment where reduction of time of mixing is a key challenging issue to enhance the performance of the chip in terms of throughput.

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References
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Journal ArticleDOI
Richard B. Fair1
TL;DR: To understand the opportunities and limitations of EWD microfluidics, this paper looks at the development of lab-on-chip applications in a hierarchical approach.
Abstract: The suitability of electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWD) microfluidics for true lab-on-a-chip applications is discussed. The wide diversity in biomedical applications can be parsed into manageable components and assembled into architecture that requires the advantages of being programmable, reconfigurable, and reusable. This capability opens the possibility of handling all of the protocols that a given laboratory application or a class of applications would require. And, it provides a path toward realizing the true lab-on-a-chip. However, this capability can only be realized with a complete set of elemental fluidic components that support all of the required fluidic operations. Architectural choices are described along with the realization of various biomedical fluidic functions implemented in on-chip electrowetting operations. The current status of this EWD toolkit is discussed. However, the question remains: which applications can be performed on a digital microfluidic platform? And, are there other advantages offered by electrowetting technology, such as the programming of different fluidic functions on a common platform (reconfigurability)? To understand the opportunities and limitations of EWD microfluidics, this paper looks at the development of lab-on-chip applications in a hierarchical approach. Diverse applications in biotechnology, for example, will serve as the basis for the requirements for electrowetting devices. These applications drive a set of biomedical fluidic functions required to perform an application, such as cell lysing, molecular separation, or analysis. In turn, each fluidic function encompasses a set of elemental operations, such as transport, mixing, or dispensing. These elemental operations are performed on an elemental set of components, such as electrode arrays, separation columns, or reservoirs. Examples of the incorporation of these principles in complex biomedical applications are described.

1,037 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper studies the effects of varying droplet aspect ratios on linear-array droplet mixers, and proposes mixing strategies applicable for both high and low aspect ratio systems, and presents a split-and-merge mixer that takes advantage of the ability to perform droplet splitting at these ratios.
Abstract: The mixing of analytes and reagents for a biological or chemical lab-on-a-chip is an important, yet difficult, microfluidic operation. As volumes approach the sub-nanoliter regime, the mixing of liquids is hindered by laminar flow conditions. An electrowetting-based linear-array droplet mixer has previously been reported. However, fixed geometric parameters and the presence of flow reversibility have prevented even faster droplet mixing times. In this paper, we study the effects of varying droplet aspect ratios (height ∶ diameter) on linear-array droplet mixers, and propose mixing strategies applicable for both high and low aspect ratio systems. An optimal aspect ratio for four electrode linear-array mixing was found to be 0.4, with a mixing time of 4.6 seconds. Mixing times were further reduced at this ratio to less than three seconds using a two-dimensional array mixer, which eliminates the effects of flow reversibility. For lower aspect ratio (≤0.2) systems, we present a split-and-merge mixer that takes advantage of the ability to perform droplet splitting at these ratios, resulting in a mixing time of less than two seconds.

484 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Mixing of analytes and reagents is a critical step in realizing a lab-on-a-chip. However, mixing of liquids is very difficult in continuous flow microfluidics due to laminar flow conditions. An alternative mixing strategy is presented based on the discretization of liquids into droplets and further manipulation of those droplets by electrowetting. The interfacial tensions of the droplets are controlled with the application of voltage. The droplets act as virtual mixing chambers, and mixing occurs by transporting the droplet across an electrode array. We also present an improved method for visualization of mixing where the top and side views of mixing are simultaneously observed. Microliters of liquid droplets are mixed in less than five seconds, which is an order of magnitude improvement in reported mixing times of droplets. Flow reversibility hinders the process of mixing during linear droplet motion. This mixing process is not physically confined and can be dynamically reconfigured to any location on the chip to improve the throughput of the lab-on-a-chip.

367 citations

Proceedings ArticleDOI
08 Dec 2003
Abstract: In this work, results and data are reported on key aspects of sample processing protocols performed on-chip in a digital microfluidic lab-on-a-chip We report the results of experiments on aspects of sample processing, including on-chip preconcentration and dilution, on-chip sample injection or dispensing, and sample mixing It is shown that high speed transport and mixing of analytes and reagents can be performed using biological solutions without system contamination

215 citations

Proceedings ArticleDOI
22 Oct 2006
TL;DR: A partitioning algorithm based on the concept of "droplet trace", which is extracted from the scheduling and droplet routing results produced by a synthesis tool, is proposed and an efficient pin assignment method, referred to as the "Connect-5 algorithm", is combined with the array partitioning technique based on droplet traces.
Abstract: Microfluidics-based biochips combine electronics with biology to open new application areas such as point-of-care medical diagnostics, on-chip DNA analysis, and automated drug discovery. Bioassays are mapped to microfluidic arrays using synthesis tools, and they are executed through the manipulation of sample and reagent droplets by electrical means. Most prior work on CAD for biochips has assumed independent control of electrodes using a large number of (electrical) input pins. Such solutions are not feasible for low-cost disposable biochips that are envisaged for many field applications. A more promising design strategy is to divide the microfluidic array into smaller partitions and use a small number of electrodes to control the electrodes in each partition. We propose a partitioning algorithm based on the concept of "droplet trace", which is extracted from the scheduling and droplet routing results produced by a synthesis tool. An efficient pin assignment method, referred to as the "Connect-5 algorithm", is combined with the array partitioning technique based on droplet traces. The array partitioning and pin assignment methods are evaluated using a set of multiplexed bioassays.

127 citations