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Issue 9, 2013
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Fluid control in microfluidic devices using a fluid conveyance extension and an absorbent microfluidic flow modulator

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Abstract

This article presents a simple method for controlling fluid in microfluidic devices without the need for valves or pumps. A fluid conveyance extension is fluidly coupled to the enclosed outlet chamber of a microfluidic device. After a fluid is introduced into the microfluidic device and saturates the fluid conveyance extension, a fluid flow in the microfluidic device is generated by contacting an absorbent microfluidic flow modulator with the fluid conveyance extension to absorb the fluid from the fluid conveyance extension through capillary action. Since the fluid in the microfluidic device is fluidly coupled with the fluid conveyance extension and the fluid conveyance extension is fluidly coupled with the absorbent microfluidic flow modulator, the absorption rate of the absorbent microfluidic flow modulator, which is the rate at which the absorbent microfluidic flow modulator absorbs fluid, matches the fluid flow rate in the microfluidic device. Thus, the fluid flow rate in the microfluidic device is set by the absorption rate of the absorbent microfluidic flow modulator. Sheath flow and fluid switching applications are demonstrated using this simple fluid control method without the need for valves or pumps. Also, the ability to control the fluid flow rate in the microfluidic device is demonstrated using absorbent microfluidic flow modulators with various absorbent characteristics and dimensions.

Graphical abstract: Fluid control in microfluidic devices using a fluid conveyance extension and an absorbent microfluidic flow modulator

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Aug 2012, accepted on 27 Feb 2013 and first published on 19 Mar 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3LC40956B
Lab Chip, 2013,13, 1737-1742

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    Fluid control in microfluidic devices using a fluid conveyance extension and an absorbent microfluidic flow modulator

    P. K. Yuen, Lab Chip, 2013, 13, 1737
    DOI: 10.1039/C3LC40956B

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