[Scientific Report] Rapid, Self-driven Liquid Mixing on Open-Surface Microfluidic Platforms
Self-driven surface micromixers (SDSM) relying on patterned-wettability technology provide an elegant solution for low-cost, point-of-care (POC) devices and lab-on-a-chip (LOC) applications. We present a SDSM fabricated by strategically patterning three wettable wedge-shaped tracks onto a non-wettable, flat surface. This SDSM operates by harnessing the wettability contrast and the geometry of the patterns to promote mixing of small liquid volumes (µL droplets) through a combination of coalescence and Laplace pressure-driven flow. Liquid droplets dispensed on two juxtaposed branches are transported to a coalescence station, where they merge after the accumulated volumes exceed a threshold. Further mixing occurs during capillary-driven, advective transport of the combined liquid over the third wettable track. Planar, non-wettable “islands” of different shapes are also laid on this third track to alter the flow in such a way that mixing is augmented. Several SDSM designs, each with a unique combination of island shapes and positions, are tested, providing a greater understanding of the different mixing regimes on these surfaces. The study offers design insights for developing low-cost surface microfluidic mixing devices on open substrates.
Jared M. Morrissette, Pallab Sinha Mahapatra, Aritra Ghosh, Ranjan Ganguly & Constantine M. Megaridis Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 1800 (2017) doi:10.1038/s41598-017-01725-0