Article

Biomedical Microdevices

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 313-322

Self-Actuated, Thermo-Responsive Hydrogel Valves for Lab on a Chip

  • Jing WangAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania
  • , Zongyuan ChenAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania
  • , Michael MaukAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania
  • , Kuang-Sheng HongAffiliated withMaterials Science and Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
  • , Mengyan LiAffiliated withSchool of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University
  • , Shu YangAffiliated withMaterials Science and Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
  • , Haim H. BauAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania Email author 

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Abstract

An easy to fabricate, thermally-actuated, self-regulated hydrogel valve for flow control in pneumatically driven, microfluidic systems is described. This microvalve takes advantage of the properties of the hydrogel, poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), as well as the aqueous fluid itself to realize flow control. The valve was designed for use in a diagnostic system fabricated with polycarbonate and aimed at the detection of pathogens in oral fluids at the location of the sample collection. The paper describes the construction and characterization of the hydrogel valves and their application for flow control, sample and reagent metering, sample distribution into multiple analysis paths, and the sealing of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) reactor to suppress bubble formation. The hydrogel-based flow control is electronically addressable, does not require any moving parts, introduces minimal dead volume, is leakage and contaminant free, and is biocompatible.

Keywords

microvalve microfluidics hydrogel lab-on-a-chip metering distribution PCR