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Issue 22, 2017
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Fully chip-embedded automation of a multi-step lab-on-a-chip process using a modularized timer circuit

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Abstract

For highly-integrated microfluidic systems, an actuation system is necessary to control the flow; however, the bulk of actuation devices including pumps or valves has impeded the broad application of integrated microfluidic systems. Here, we suggest a microfluidic process control method based on built-in microfluidic circuits. The circuit is composed of a fluidic timer circuit and a pneumatic logic circuit. The fluidic timer circuit is a serial connection of modularized timer units, which sequentially pass high pressure to the pneumatic logic circuit. The pneumatic logic circuit is a NOR gate array designed to control the liquid-controlling process. By using the timer circuit as a built-in signal generator, multi-step processes could be done totally inside the microchip without any external controller. The timer circuit uses only two valves per unit, and the number of process steps can be extended without limitation by adding timer units. As a demonstration, an automation chip has been designed for a six-step droplet treatment, which entails 1) loading, 2) separation, 3) reagent injection, 4) incubation, 5) clearing and 6) unloading. Each process was successfully performed for a pre-defined step-time without any external control device.

Graphical abstract: Fully chip-embedded automation of a multi-step lab-on-a-chip process using a modularized timer circuit

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Jul 2017, accepted on 12 Oct 2017 and first published on 12 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7LC00704C
Citation: Lab Chip, 2017,17, 3891-3897
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    Fully chip-embedded automation of a multi-step lab-on-a-chip process using a modularized timer circuit

    J. Kang, D. Lee, Y. J. Heo and W. K. Chung, Lab Chip, 2017, 17, 3891
    DOI: 10.1039/C7LC00704C

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