Electrothermal fluid manipulation of high-conductivity samples for laboratory automation applications

Mandy L.Y. Sin, Vincent Gau, Joseph C. Liao, Pak Kin Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Electrothermal flow is a promising technique in microfluidic manipulation toward laboratory automation applications, such as clinical diagnostics and high-throughput drug screening. Despite the potential of electrothermal flow in biomedical applications, relatively little is known about electrothermal manipulation of highly conductive samples, such as physiological fluids and buffer solutions. In this study, the characteristics and challenges of electrothermal manipulation of fluid samples with different conductivities were investigated systematically. Electrothermal flow was shown to create fluid motion for samples with a wide range of conductivity when the driving frequency was greater than 100. kHz. For samples with low conductivities (below 1. S/m), the characteristics of the electrothermal fluid motions were in quantitative agreement with the theory. For samples with high conductivities (greater than 1. S/m), the fluid motion appeared to deviate from the model as a result of potential electrochemical reactions and other electrothermal effects. These effects should be taken into consideration for electrothermal manipulation of biological samples with high conductivities. This study will provide insights in designing microfluidic devices for electrokinetic manipulation of biological samples toward laboratory automation applications in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-432
Number of pages7
JournalJALA - Journal of the Association for Laboratory Automation
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Electrokinetics
  • Electrothermal
  • Microfluidics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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