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Magneto-electro hydrodynamics

Analysis of liquid samples for pathogens and toxins is a crucial step to determining the quality of liquid, e.g. water, and how to most efficiently treat a particular water supply. Currently, analysis of liquid supplies for particular toxins is both expensive and time consuming. The analytical methods require the transport of samples to fully stocked labs where lengthy assays have to be performed to determine the concentration of a pathogen in the sample. However, through the use of functionalized magnetic microbeads, an electro-osmotic driven system, and an external magnetic field, it is possible to quickly analyze liquid samples for pathogen content.

We in the TEM Lab at the University of Cincinnati are working on developing an easy to use, portable, and efficient lab-on-chip device that can be used in the field to analyze liquid samples. We have developed a novel approach that a magnet and an electro-osmotic flow field to enhance the capture of microbeads in the channel. We ran experimental tests (Figure 1) to analyze the capture efficiency of the magnetic microbeads that confirmed our predictions regarding the effectiveness of flow switching. Through the use of microfluidic channels, we are able to efficiently capture targeted microbeads, and therefore the pathogens of interest, using an inexpensive, portable, and self-contained system.

magneto-electro hydro dynamics fig 1

Figure 1. Fluorescent image of microbeads captured against the upper wall of the experimental channel.

by Gavin D Souza last modified 2015-05-29 17:17