LabSmith Applications

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Lab-on-a-Chip Application: Microfab-less Microfluidics for a Portable Hybrid Microchip-Capillary Electrophoresis Device

By Matthew T. Gordon and Carlos D. Garcia, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX on October 9, 2013.

Microfluidic devices, with their potential for portability and rapid analysis times, can bring cost-effective flexibility to modern analytical chemistry applications. However, the design and fabrication of microchips can involve trade-offs between cost, flexibility of configuration, and ideal surface properties or performance. To circumvent these drawbacks, we have developed a hybrid platform consisting of simple microfabricated reservoirs connected to standard capillary tubing for electrophoretic separation and in-channel detection. The connections for this hybrid device are assembled using a reusable, conventionally machined CapTite™ Ultem® cross interconnect and CapTite™ PEEK™ capillary fittings. The Ultem® central interconnect, s silicone reservoirs, and conductivity detector can all be mounted to a portable breadboard for stability.  The use of standard capillary tubing with a conventionally machined cross supports versatile system configurations and simultaneously eliminates the cost in money and time that is associated with customized microfabrication.