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Lab Chip. 2012 Nov 7;12(21):4576-80. doi: 10.1039/c2lc40765e.

A phaseguided passive batch microfluidic mixing chamber for isothermal amplification.

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  • 1Laboratory for Sensors, Department for Microsystem Engineering (IMTEK), Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Georges-Köhler-Allee 103, 79110 Freiburg, Germany.


With a view to developing a rapid pathogen detection system utilizing isothermal nucleic acid amplification, the necessary micro-mixing step is innovatively implemented on a chip. Passive laminar flow mixing of two 6.5 μl batches differing in viscosity is performed within a microfluidic chamber. This is achieved with a novel chip space-saving phaseguide design which allows, for the first time, the complete integration of a passive mixing structure into a target chamber. Sequential filling of batches prior to mixing is demonstrated. Simulation predicts a reduction of diffusive mixing time from hours down to one minute. A simple and low-cost fabrication method is used which combines dry film resist technology and direct wafer bonding. Finally, an isothermal nucleic acid detection assay is successfully implemented where fluorescence results are measured directly from the chip after a one minute mixing sequence. In combination with our previous work, this opens up the way towards a fully integrated pathogen detection system in a lab-on-a-chip format.

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