Programmable v-type valve for cell and particle manipulation in microfluidic devices†
A new microfluidic valve or a “v-type valve” which can be flexibly actuated to focus a fluid flow and block a specific area of a microchannel is demonstrated. Valves with different design parameters were fabricated by multilayer soft lithography and characterized at various operating pressures. To evaluate the functionality of the valve, single microparticles (∅ 7 μm and ∅ 15 μm) and single cells were trapped from flowing suspensions. Continuous processes of particle capture and release were achieved by controlling the actuation and deactuation of the valve. Integration of the v-type valve with poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS) monolithic valves in microfluidic devices was demonstrated to illustrate the potential of the system in various applications such as the creation of a solid phase column, the isolation of a specific number of particles in reactors, and the capture and release of particles or cells in the flow of two immiscible liquids. We believe that this new valve system will be suitable for manipulating particles and cells in a broad range of applications.