Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 871–878

A microfluidic device for thermal particle detection


  • Ashwin Kumar Vutha
    • Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear EngineeringRensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Benyamin Davaji
    • Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringMarquette University
  • Chung Hoon Lee
    • Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringMarquette University
    • Joint Department of Biomedical EngineeringUNC Chapel Hill and NC State University
Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10404-014-1369-z

Cite this article as:
Vutha, A., Davaji, B., Lee, C.H. et al. Microfluid Nanofluid (2014) 17: 871. doi:10.1007/s10404-014-1369-z


We demonstrate the use of heat to count microscopic particles. A thermal particle detector (TPD) was fabricated by combining a 500-nm-thick silicon nitride membrane containing a thin-film resistive temperature detector with a silicone elastomer microchannel. Particles with diameters of 90 and 200 μm created relative temperature changes of 0.11 and −0.44 K, respectively, as they flowed by the sensor. A first-order lumped thermal model was developed to predict the temperature changes. Multiple particles were counted in series to demonstrate the utility of the TPD as a particle counter.


MicrofluidicsParticle countingThermal

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014