A major limitation of many microfluidic platforms is their inability to perform large scale, real time, sensing, routing, or scheduling of the materials moving through them. This paper seeks to address the first of these deficiencies by introducing a multiplexed sensing architecture capable of monitoring the movement of liquid droplets in large microfluidic networks.We describe the design and fabrication of the sensor array, aswell as its integration and testing in microfluidic networks. Individual sensors consisting of small electrical components (resistors, capacitors, or conduction gaps) are addressed using a multiplexing approach that allows an array of m×n sensors to be supported by only m+ n + 1 electrical contacts, as compared to the 2×m×n contacts traditionally necessary. For example, a multiplexed 10×10 array of sensors can be operated with 21 contacts, as opposed to the 200 contacts needed in a traditional configuration. The multiplexing relies on the fact that each sensing element is connected to two electrical leads, and each electrical lead is connected to multiple sensing elements. Here we show the principle using a 4×4 multiplexed arrays of resistive and capacitive sensors to monitor the passage of discrete liquid plugs through a microfluidic network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-358
Number of pages9
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Electrical sensors
  • Microfluidic sensing
  • Multiplexing
  • Sensor arrays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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