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Easy-to-attach vacuum modules with biochips for droplets generation from small sample volumes

Abstract

This study developed a droplet biochip driven with a single vacuum module to produce droplets from small sample volumes. The vacuum module is composed of a shape memory polymer, which releases prestored energy for shape recovery when subjected to heat trigger, and works as an easy-to-attach vacuum source. The three-layer Teflon mold is designed to manufacture a vacuum module with a favorable yield (>95%). The water-in-oil emulsion droplets can be produced by attaching a single vacuum module with a microfluidic chip. The diameter of the vacuum module has been successfully reduced to 6 mm. The maximum driving pressure provided by the 15-mm diameter vacuum module attached with a 2 μL chip is approximately 9653 Pa. The produced flow rate varies with the deformation rate of the vacuum module and becomes stable at 2.4 µL/min during the droplet generation. The droplet diameters range from 180 to 240 µm. The developed disposable vacuum module is easy to attach, easy to use, easy to make, cost-effective, and automatically controllable for driving fluids on a chip for handling small sample volumes.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan (MOST 104-2627-B-007-002).

Author information

Correspondence to Chien-Chong Hong.

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Lee, C., Hong, C. Easy-to-attach vacuum modules with biochips for droplets generation from small sample volumes. Microfluid Nanofluid 20, 158 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10404-016-1821-3

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Keywords

  • Vacuum module
  • Shape memory polymer
  • Droplet generation
  • Microfluidic chip