Microfluidic arrays of fluid-fluid diffusional contacts as detection elements and combinatorial tools

R. F. Ismagilov, J. M.K. Ng, P. J.A. Kenis, G. M. Whitesides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes microfluidic systems that can be used to investigate multiple chemical or biochemical interactions in a parallel format. These three-dimensional systems are generated by crossing two sets of microfluidic channels, fabricated in two different layers, at right angles Solutions of the reagents are placed in the channels; in different modes of operation, these solutions can be either flowing or stationary-the latter is important when one set of channels is filled with viscous gels with immobilized reagents. At every crossing, the channels are separated either by a single membrane or by a composite separator comprising a membrane, a microwell, and a second membrane. These components allow diffusive mass transport and minimize convective transport through the crossing. Polycarbonate membranes with 0.1-1-μm vertical pores were used to fabricate the devices. Each crossing of parallel channels serves as an element in which chemical or biochemical interactions can take place; interactions can be detected by monitoring changes in fluorescence and absorbance. These all-organic systems are straightforward to fabricate and to operate and may find applications as portable microanalytical systems and as tools in combinatorial research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5207-5213
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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