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Small. 2012 Jun 25;8(12):1881-8. doi: 10.1002/smll.201102282. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Miniaturized Lab-on-a-Disc (miniLOAD).

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Micro/Nanophysics Research Laboratory, School of Electrical & Computer Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia.


A miniaturized centrifugal microfluidic platform for lab-on-a-chip applications is presented. Unlike its macroscopic Lab-on-a-CD counterpart, the miniature Lab-on-a-Disc (miniLOAD) device does not require moving parts to drive rotation of the disc, is inexpensive, disposable, and significantly smaller, comprising a 10-mm-diameter SU-8 disc fabricated through two-step photolithography. The disc is driven to rotate using surface acoustic wave irradiation incident upon a fluid coupling layer from a pair of offset, opposing single-phase unidirectional transducers patterned on a lithium niobate substrate. The irradiation causes azimuthally oriented acoustic streaming with sufficient intensity to rotate the disc at several thousand revolutions per minute. In this first proof-of-concept, the capability of the miniLOAD platform to drive capillary-based valving and mixing in microfluidic structures on a disc similar to much larger Lab-on-a-CD devices is shown. In addition, the ability to concentrate aqueous particle suspensions at radial positions in a channel in the disc dependent on the particles' size is demonstrated. To the best of our knowledge, the miniLOAD concept is the first centrifugal microfluidic platform small enough to be self-contained in a handheld device.

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