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Title: A capillary valve for microfluidic systems.

Abstract

Microfluidic systems are becoming increasingly complicated as the number of applications grows. The use of microfluidic systems for chemical and biological agent detection, for example, requires that a given sample be subjected to many process steps, which requires microvalves to control the position and transport of the sample. Each microfluidic application has its own specific valve requirements and this has precipitated the wide variety of valve designs reported in the literature. Each of these valve designs has its strengths and weaknesses. The strength of the valve design proposed here is its simplicity, which makes it easy to fabricate, easy to actuate, and easy to integrate with a microfluidic system. It can be applied to either gas phase or liquid phase systems. This novel design uses a secondary fluid to stop the flow of the primary fluid in the system. The secondary fluid must be chosen based on the type of flow that it must stop. A dielectric fluid must be used for a liquid phase flow driven by electroosmosis, and a liquid with a large surface tension should be used to stop a gas phase flow driven by a weak pressure differential. Experiments were carried out investigating certain critical functionsmore » of the design. These experiments verified that the secondary fluid can be reversibly moved between its 'valve opened' and 'valve closed' positions, where the secondary fluid remained as one contiguous piece during this transport process. The experiments also verified that when Fluorinert is used as the secondary fluid, the valve can break an electric circuit. It was found necessary to apply a hydrophobic coating to the microchannels to stop the primary fluid, an aqueous electrolyte, from wicking past the Fluorinert and short-circuiting the valve. A simple model was used to develop valve designs that could be closed using an electrokinetic pump, and re-opened by simply turning the pump off and allowing capillary forces to push the secondary fluid back into its stowed position.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Laboratories
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
919655
Report Number(s):
SAND2004-4845
TRN: US200825%%369
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; COATINGS; DESIGN; DETECTION; DIELECTRIC MATERIALS; ELECTRODYNAMICS; SURFACE TENSION; TRANSPORT; VALVES; Chemical detection.; Fluidic devices.; Biological detection.

Citation Formats

Cummings, Eric B, Kanouff, Michael P, and Rush, Brian M. A capillary valve for microfluidic systems.. United States: N. p., 2004. Web. doi:10.2172/919655.
Cummings, Eric B, Kanouff, Michael P, & Rush, Brian M. A capillary valve for microfluidic systems.. United States. doi:10.2172/919655.
Cummings, Eric B, Kanouff, Michael P, and Rush, Brian M. Fri . "A capillary valve for microfluidic systems.". United States. doi:10.2172/919655. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/919655.
@article{osti_919655,
title = {A capillary valve for microfluidic systems.},
author = {Cummings, Eric B and Kanouff, Michael P and Rush, Brian M},
abstractNote = {Microfluidic systems are becoming increasingly complicated as the number of applications grows. The use of microfluidic systems for chemical and biological agent detection, for example, requires that a given sample be subjected to many process steps, which requires microvalves to control the position and transport of the sample. Each microfluidic application has its own specific valve requirements and this has precipitated the wide variety of valve designs reported in the literature. Each of these valve designs has its strengths and weaknesses. The strength of the valve design proposed here is its simplicity, which makes it easy to fabricate, easy to actuate, and easy to integrate with a microfluidic system. It can be applied to either gas phase or liquid phase systems. This novel design uses a secondary fluid to stop the flow of the primary fluid in the system. The secondary fluid must be chosen based on the type of flow that it must stop. A dielectric fluid must be used for a liquid phase flow driven by electroosmosis, and a liquid with a large surface tension should be used to stop a gas phase flow driven by a weak pressure differential. Experiments were carried out investigating certain critical functions of the design. These experiments verified that the secondary fluid can be reversibly moved between its 'valve opened' and 'valve closed' positions, where the secondary fluid remained as one contiguous piece during this transport process. The experiments also verified that when Fluorinert is used as the secondary fluid, the valve can break an electric circuit. It was found necessary to apply a hydrophobic coating to the microchannels to stop the primary fluid, an aqueous electrolyte, from wicking past the Fluorinert and short-circuiting the valve. A simple model was used to develop valve designs that could be closed using an electrokinetic pump, and re-opened by simply turning the pump off and allowing capillary forces to push the secondary fluid back into its stowed position.},
doi = {10.2172/919655},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2004},
month = {10}
}

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