Novel Mixing Techniques for Microchannel Flows
The ability to control mixing of reagents in MEMS systems is crucial for many biological and chemical analysis applications. However, mixing in these microscale devices is a challenge because the flows are laminar corresponding to very low Reynolds number.
Binghamton University engineers have designed a simple, compact, easy to manufacture, and inexpensive passive microchannel module to mix micro-liter volumes of aqueous reagents. The split and merge geometry enables 89% degree of mixing within a footprint of less than 1 square centimeter. The mixer can be combined in modular fashion with other MEMS devices, sheath flow assemblies, storage reservoirs, and analytical sensors.
- Efficient: 300% increase in mixing efficiency means fewer unmixed “islands” and ability to sense small targets relative to volume.
- Simple: passive system does not use an external energy source (energy is only required to introduce fluids at the inlets)—no pulsing, stirring, magnetic fields, or chemical reactions between reagents.
- Modular: can be integrated into high-performance liquid chromatography and other data acquisition equipment for sample pre-treatment and preparation.
- Inexpensive: manufacturing the module at high volumes employing standard-ized micro-fabrication processes (photolithography-based) and taking advantage of excess capacity at 4- and 8-inch wafer silicon facilities, enables pricing as a disposable.
- Reliable: operating at low pressures reduces potential for module to fail or leak.
- Works with a variety of fluids, including those containing synthetic materials (i.e. drugs), cells and cell ex-tracts, body fluids, and environmental fluids containing surface water, soil, water, and industrial materials.
- Specific applications include blood analysis, water quality monitoring, DNA sequencing, detection of toxic chemicals, and identification of harmful bacteria.
Dr. Baghat Sammakia is Vice President of Research at Binghamton University and is director of the Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging Center (S3IP), which is dedicated to innovations in solar energy, “green” data cen-ters, flexible electronics and electronics packaging. He also serves as executive director of economic development and as director of the Integrated Electron-ics Engineering Center.
Dr. Bruce Murray is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the State Uni-versity of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton. His research interests are in the areas of materials processing, convective heat and mass transfer and computa-tional methods.
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