Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - AMABIO (Active Manipulation of Biomolecules in Microfluidic Arrays)

The AMABIO project dealt with several aspects of microfluidic devices designed for the manipulation of biomolecules. These devices generally consist of a network of channels that transport fluids carrying the biomolecules as well as pumps and valves for injecting, regulating and controlling the flow. Additional components might also include a mixer for mixing reagents and heaters or coolers to bring the fluid to an optimal temperature.

The first part of the project involved the development of a comprehensive computational tool for the preliminary design and analysis of the flow in the microfluidic network. It could handle both directed pressure and electroosmotic flows. Since the handling of biomolecules often requires movement in converging and diverging passages, a provision was made for the inclusion of varying area channels in the network. The simple theory behind the computation took full advantage of the linear nature of the low Reynolds number flows that are usually encountered in these devices.

Apart from the development of the computational tool, a major focus of this project was to develop and refine fabrication methods for these devices with an aim towards rapid prototyping. The focus was on developing truly on-a-chip systems for the pumps and valves. For the valves, two options were investigated, and were still under investigation by the time of the project completion, including the use of bubbles and the deformation of cantilever glass beams. The latter option also required the fabrication of bell-shaped channels, and this was examined as well.

In addition, we developed and demonstrated a novel electroosmotic pump that was relatively easy to fabricate, assemble and operate. It used patterned electrodes and alternating current (AC) for bubble-free operation. The observed speeds were on the order of 5 mm/s but this could be improved with further optimisation of the design.

Reported by

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top