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Sensors 2013, 13(1), 58-70;

Flow Cell Design for Effective Biosensing

Pathogen Control Engineering (PaCE) Institute, School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9JT, UK
Institute of Engineering Thermofluids, Surfaces & Interfaces (iETSI), School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9JT, UK
Institute of Membrane and Systems Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 9JT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 November 2012 / Revised: 11 December 2012 / Accepted: 12 December 2012 / Published: 20 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidic Devices)
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The efficiency of three different biosensor flow cells is reported. All three flow cells featured a central channel that expands in the vicinity of the sensing element to provide the same diameter active region, but the rate of channel expansion and contraction varied between the designs. For each cell the rate at which the analyte concentration in the sensor chamber responds to a change in the influent analyte concentration was determined numerically using a finite element model and experimentally using a flow-fluorescence technique. Reduced flow cell efficiency with increasing flow rates was observed for all three designs and was related to the increased importance of diffusion relative to advection, with efficiency being limited by the development of regions of recirculating flow (eddies). However, the onset of eddy development occurred at higher flow rates for the design with the most gradual channel expansion, producing a considerably more efficient flow cell across the range of flow rates considered in this study. It is recommended that biosensor flow cells be designed to minimize the tendency towards, and be operated under conditions that prevent the development of flow recirculation. View Full-Text
Keywords: fluidics; sensors; flow cell; computational fluid dynamics fluidics; sensors; flow cell; computational fluid dynamics

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Pike, D.J.; Kapur, N.; Millner, P.A.; Stewart, D.I. Flow Cell Design for Effective Biosensing. Sensors 2013, 13, 58-70.

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