The MIIS Eprints Archive

Akonni Biosystems: Wicking in Microchannels on Biochips

Daneshbod, Yousef and Kominiarczuk, Jakub and Kreykes, Jason and Nadim, Ali (2009) Akonni Biosystems: Wicking in Microchannels on Biochips. [Study Group Report]



Microfluidics is the science of designing and manufacturing devices and processes for manipulation of extremely small volumes of fluid, typically micro to nanoliters.The most mature application of microfluidics technology is ink-jet printing, which uses orifices less than 100 μm in diameter to generate drops of ink. The complex devices now being developed for biological applications involving the analysis of DNA (in genetics and genomics) and proteins (in proteomics) and bio-defense typically involve aqueous solutions and channels 30 to 300 μm in diameter. Unlike microelectronics, in which the current emphasis is on reducing the size of transistors, microfluidics is focusing on making more complex systems of channels with more sophisticated fluid-handling capabilities, rather than reducing the size of the channels. Although micro- and macro-fluidic systems require similar components including pumps, valves, mixers, filters, and separators, the small size of microchannels causes their flow to behave differently. At micron scales, fluid motions are primarily dominated by surface tension and viscous forces.

In the problem under consideration, the issue is one of wicking or leaking of the sample from the reaction reservoir to the waste region at elevated temperatures. A mechanism responsible for this phenomenon was thought to be the "wedge effect," which refers to the tendency of liquids to move along a sharp corner by capillary effects if the conditions are right. The analysis performed during the workshop also mainly focused on this effect.

While a definitive solution to this challenging problem posed in the workshop was not identified, it was felt that using a manufacturing process that can affect the corner angles in the channels may hold the most promise, allowing the wicking mechanism to be controlled without surface treatments that insert hydrophobic stops in the channel. For instance by "rounding" the side walls to increase the corner angles from 90 toward 180 degrees, the leaking of the sample away
from the reaction chamber might be delayed.

Item Type:Study Group Report
Problem Sectors:Materials
Medical and pharmaceutical
Study Groups:Claremont Colleges Math-in-Industry Workshop > Claremont Colleges Math-in-Industry Workshop 2009
Company Name:Akonni Biosystems
ID Code:284
Deposited By: Dr Kamel Bentahar
Deposited On:11 Mar 2010 12:30
Last Modified:29 May 2015 19:54

Repository Staff Only: item control page