Low Voltage DNA Sequencing Platform Utilizing Picofluidic Electrowetting Devices
Digital microfluidics as implemented in electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWD) technology has been widely used as a platform for miniaturizing the biomedical or biochemical laboratory on a chip in recent years. DNA pyrosequencing, one of the DNA sequencing-by-synthesis methods, has been successfully integrated on EWD devices. However, this platform requires microliters of reagents and 200~300V of applied voltages, which contributes to higher costs and limits the feasibility of a portable system. This dissertation proposes a low voltage EWD device using multi-layer insulators that can manipulate picoliter droplets on chip. A 300pl droplet was dispensed and actuated at voltages as low as 11.4Vrms and 7.2Vrms respectively on a 95um electrode a EWD device with a 20um SU8 gasket. The stacked insulators in the actuator consisted of 135nm tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5) and 180nm parylene C films deposited and coated with 70 nm of CYTOP. The physical scaling of electrodes was further demonstrated for 33um and 21um electrode devices, resulting in droplets of 12pl and 5pl respectively in conjunction with 3um gaskets. Manipulation of magnetic beads during dispensing, droplet splitting and merging, and droplet transport were also demonstrated on the scaled EWD devices. The chemiluminescent light produced by the on-chip reaction of 100pl ATP-luciferin and luciferase could be detected with an external cooled CCD camera, but detecting this reaction with smaller-scale droplet reactions was limited by the external detector's sensitivity. Based on fundamental theories and experiments, the actuation voltage and dimensional scaling of EWD devices have been demonstrated, but the use of picoliter droplets in biochemical applications will required improved sensing methods.
electrowetting on dielectric
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