INTEGRATED TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT AND CONTROL IN POLYMER MICROFLUIDIC SYSTEMS

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2003-11-06

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Abstract

Methods for integrating electrical components in low cost polymer microfluidic systems are presented. These methods include deposition and photolithographic patterning of thin-film metal layers on polycarbonate and poly(methyl methacrylate), and the embedding of pre-fabricated and diced chips. The design and performance of Resistive Temperature Detectors (RTDs) fabricated with these methods is also discussed.

The fabrication and testing of two polymer microfluidic systems is presented. The first system contains a two-dimensional array of RTDs in a microchannel capable of measuring the temperature distribution within the fluid. The second system employs Temperature Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (TGGE) for the detection of mutations in DNA samples.

A compact mathematical model of the thermal effects caused by an integrated microheater is presented and validated with experimental measurements. This model may be applied to a wide variety of polymer microsystems which contain heaters and/or temperature sensors. The design of bubble pumps, hot plate chemical sensors, temperature gradient gel/capillary electrophoresis systems, flow sensors, etc. will be aided by this model.

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