Enrichment of nanoparticles and bacteria using electroless and manual actuation modes of a bypass nanofluidic device†
Current efforts in nanofluidics aimed at detecting scarce molecules or particles are focused mainly on the development of electrokinetic-based devices. However, these techniques require either integrated or external electrodes, and a potential drop applied across a carrier fluid. One challenge is to develop a new generation of electroless passive devices involving a simple technological process and packaging without embedded electrodes for micro- and nanoparticles enrichment with a view to applications in biology such as the detection of viral agents or cancers biomarkers. This paper presents an innovative technique for particles handling and enrichment based exclusively on a pressure-driven silicon bypass nanofluidic device. The device is fabricated by standard silicon micro–nanofabrication technology. The concentration operation was demonstrated and quantified according to two different actuation modes, which can also be combined to enhance the concentration factor further. The first, “symmetrical” mode involves a symmetric cross-flow effect that concentrates nanoparticles in a very small volume in a very local point of the device. The second mode, “asymmetrical” mode advantageously generates a streaming potential, giving rise to an Electroless Electropreconcentration (EL-EP). The concentration process can be maintained for several hours and concentration factors as high as ~200 have been obtained when both symmetrical and asymmetrical modes are coupled. Proof of concept for concentrating E. coli bacteria by the manual actuation of the EL-EP device is also demonstrated in this paper. Experiments demonstrate more than a 50-fold increase in the concentration of E. coli bacteria in only ~40 s.