Microfluidic actuation by modulation of surface stresses

A.A. Darhuber, J.P. Valentino, J.M. Davis, S.M. Troian, S. Wagner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    153 Citations (Scopus)
    181 Downloads (Pure)


    We demonstrate the active manipulation of nanoliter liquid samples on the surface of a glass or silicon substrate by combining chemical surface patterning with electronically addressable microheater arrays. Hydrophilic lanes designate the possible routes for liquid migration while activation of specific heater elements determine the trajectories. The induced temperature fields spatially modulate the liquid surface tension thereby providing electronic control over the direction, timing, and flow rate of continuous streams or discrete drops. Temperature maps can be programed to move, split, trap, and mix ultrasmall volumes without mechanically moving parts and with low operating voltages of 2â€"3 V. This method of fluidic actuation allows direct accessibility to liquid samples for handling and diagnostic purposes and provides an attractive platform for palm-sized and battery-powered analysis and synthesis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)657-659
    Number of pages3
    JournalApplied Physics Letters
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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