Control and Measurement of the Phase Behavior of Aqueous Solutions Using Microfluidics

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Soft Matter Keywords

Microfluidics, surface tension.


Summary

The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the development of a microfluidic device called the Phase Chip. It was shown that the Phase Chip is able to control the concentration of solutes in aqueous solutions of nanoliter volumes by controlling the permeation of water through poly(dimethylsiloxane)(PDMS), which is also the material used to construct the device. The device uses surface tension forces to guide the solution droplets through the chip's channels and wells. The chip is able do "formulate drops, generate drops, mix drops, store drops in specific sites, vary the amount of water in the drops and thereby regulate the concentration of solutes." Some of the advantages that this device offers are the ability to control the exact composition of the solution drops, the lack of cross-contamination between drops, and the transportation of drops without loss of volume.