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Microfluidic Control for Gravity-Driven ELISA Apparatus

J.W. Wu and N.K. Yao

microfluid, flow order, ELISA

A gravity-driven apparatus for controlling the flow order of reactants in microfluidic devices was developed, which could be employed in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) application. By using this system, the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) dissolved in a serum sample was successfully determined with high sensitivity. This system not only enabled successful reduction of the assay time from 1 hour to 5 minutes, but also it was achieved by simple manual operations. Moreover, it needed not use any active power or the peripheral supporting electromechanical facilities. This gravity-driven apparatus mainly comprised five reactant wells which arranged in a stepwise pattern, five separate microchannels with the width and depth ranging from 0.5mm-1mm, and a reaction chamber having a winding channel. Each reactant well had an air vent channel. Each pair of neighboring separate microchannels had a horizontal connecting alley connecting the pair of neighboring separate microchannels. To activate the microfluidic chip, the microfluidic chip was placed in a declining or standing position and the air vents were unsealed. This apparatus enhanced the reliability of flow order control for multiple reactants. It could be built in a microfluidic chip, and needed not use any activate power or element. Therefore, it was low in energy-consumption, low in manufacturing cost and free-of-pollution.

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