Electrochemical Lab-On-a-Chip


Several lab-on-a-chip (LOC) or µTAS platforms based on electrochemical detection schemes are being developed in the GTQ. Some of them are configured as micro-analytical systems for large number of consecutive measurements (e.g. in environmental monitoring). In relation to those systems, the main focus of the research is on the integration of solid state sensors, actuators, and microfluidic structures for a robust and fully automated functioning. Other LOC platforms are developed for the implementation of single use cartridges. In this case the focus is on conceiving new technologies that enable production at low-cost. Next are some examples of LOC platforms in development.

PMMA Systems based on comercial pumps and valves

Main characteristics:

  • Rapid prototyping with laser and CNC micromachining
  • Any type of electrochemical sensor can be integrated
  • Ideal for monitoring applications when energy, reagent or sample consumption are not critical
  • Easy to reconfigure for any particular application, including sample conditioning/preparation, calibration, cleaning
  • Simple replacement of sensors and active components 

Already applied to:

  • Analysis of heavy metals and pesticides in environmental water samples with gold amperometric sensors
  • Analysis of chemical oxygen demand in wastewater samples with an electrocatalytic composite-derived sensor

 

PMMA/PDMS SYSTEMS WITH INTEGRATED VALVES

 

  • Zero dead volume valves. High valve density
  • Low volume coupling of sensors to the microfluidics 
  • Ideal for monitoring applications requiring low consumption of sample and reagents (< 1µl per measurement/calibration cycle) and multiple measurement points (e.g. multiwell plates)

 

Already applied to: Cell culture monitoring

PDMS MICROFLUIDICS ON TRANSDUCER ARRAY CHIPS 

 

  • For measurement and cleaning automation
  • Channels embedded in the PDMS layers. No need for bonding between PDMS and transducer chip

 

Already applied to: Automation of a protein microarray readout process with an impedimetric transducer array 

 

WAX Microfluidics

 

  • Fully integrated systems including valves, pumps, reagent reservoirs, and electrodes for detection
  • Electrically controlled
  • Simple fabrication
  • Ideal for disposable cartridges

 

Already applied to: Sampler device for sequential acquisition of a large number of liquid or gaseous samples from the environment.

Capilarity driven systems with solid state sensors

Ultralow power systems for monitoring applications

In development