A Concept Towards Pressure-Controlled Microfluidic Networks
Sprache des Titels:
International Symposium on Design and Diagnostics of Electronic Circuits and Systems (DDECS)
Droplet-based microfluidic networks interconnect
multiple microfluidic modules which allow to process (e.g., mix,
sort, heat, incubate) so-called payload droplets (i.e., droplets
containing a biological sample) on a single microfluidic chip.
Inside such networks the path of a droplet and, thus, the module
which processes it, can be controlled by microfluidic switches.
Thus far, these switches are realized by injecting additional
control droplets into the network which allow to trigger the
switching mechanism by solely exploiting passive hydrodynamic
effects. While this eliminates the need of expensive components
such as valves, this droplet-controlled switching concept is very
sensitive and already slight deviations, e.g., in the control droplet
injection could lead to incorrectly triggered switches. In this
work, we address this issue by proposing a new concept of
pressure-controlled networks which omit the control droplets (and
their drawbacks) and, instead, use a single pump in order to drive
the switches. Using design automation expertise together with
established models, we derive a corresponding blueprint which
realizes this idea for a specific network architecture. Simulations
based on established methods and design tools confirmed the
suitability of the proposed pressure-controlled networks.