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Micromachines 2019, 10(2), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10020092

Simultaneous Pumping and Mixing of Biological Fluids in a Double-Array Electrothermal Microfluidic Device

1,2,3,*
and
4,5,*
1
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
2
Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology (iBEST), St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON M5B 1T8, Canada
3
Keenan Research Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON M5B 1T8, Canada
4
Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
5
Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 December 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 25 January 2019 / Published: 28 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue AC Electrokinetics in Microfluidic Devices)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2671 KB, uploaded 18 February 2019]   |  

Abstract

Transport and mixing of minute amounts of biological fluids are significantly important in lab-on-a-chip devices. It has been shown that the electrothermal technique is a suitable candidate for applications involving high-conductivity biofluids, such as blood, saliva, and urine. Here, we introduce a double-array AC electrothermal (ACET) device consisting of two opposing microelectrode arrays, which can be used for simultaneous mixing and pumping. First, in a 2D simulation, an optimum electrode-pair configuration capable of achieving fast transverse mixing at a microfluidic channel cross-section is identified by comparing different electrode geometries. The results show that by adjusting the applied voltage pattern and position of the asymmetrical microelectrodes in the two arrays, due to the resultant circular flow streamlines, the time it takes for the analytes to be convected across the channel cross-section is reduced by 95% compared to a diffusion-only-based transport regime, and by 80% compared to a conventional two-layer ACET device. Using a 3D simulation, the fluid transport (pumping and mixing) capabilities of such an electrode pair placed at different angles longitudinally relative to the channel was studied. It was found that an asymmetrical electrode configuration placed at an angle in the range of 30 ° θ 45 ° can significantly increase transversal mixing efficiency while generating strong longitudinal net flow. These findings are of interest for lab-on-a-chip applications, especially for biosensors and immunoassays, where mixing analyte solutions while simultaneously moving them through a microchannel can greatly enhance the sensing efficiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrokinetics; microfluidics; electrothermal; micropump; micromixing; biofluid; microelectrode array electrokinetics; microfluidics; electrothermal; micropump; micromixing; biofluid; microelectrode array
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Salari, A.; Dalton, C. Simultaneous Pumping and Mixing of Biological Fluids in a Double-Array Electrothermal Microfluidic Device. Micromachines 2019, 10, 92.

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