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Issue 10, 2009
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A rapid, reliable, and automatable lab-on-a-chip interface

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We present a prototype for a universal world-to-chip interface for electrical and fluidic connections to lab-on-a-chip devices. The concept is based on spring supported connections to secure and define the contact force for each wire and tubing. We demonstrate the functionality of a manual system and propose the design of an automated system. The new interface provides several useful characteristics: A reliable and reversible leak-free connection is rapidly achieved. The fluidic interface sealed a PMMA chip up to a maximal pressure of 2,070 kPa and reliably connected a six port glass chip. Damage during chip assembly is prevented by an easy handling procedure in combination with adjustable and reproducible contact forces. Destructive fluid overpressure during chip operation is avoided by the relief valve functionality of the interface. The compression based setup is easily adaptable to other chip designs. It is biocompatible and can be used for analytical measurements due to the exclusive use of certified materials and its adhesive free design. The new interface overcomes one of the main obstacles in miniaturization, the connection of the lab-on-a-chip device with the macro world.

Graphical abstract: A rapid, reliable, and automatable lab-on-a-chip interface

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Article information

12 Nov 2008
04 Feb 2009
First published
03 Mar 2009

Lab Chip, 2009,9, 1455-1460
Article type

A rapid, reliable, and automatable lab-on-a-chip interface

H. Kortmann, L. M. Blank and A. Schmid, Lab Chip, 2009, 9, 1455
DOI: 10.1039/B820183H

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