Chip uses oil to move droplets

December 17/24, 2003

Researchers from North Carolina State University have devised a way to manipulate tiny droplets and particles on a chip. Key to the system is suspending what needs to be moved in a heavier liquid.

The researchers liquid-liquid chip uses an electric field to move, mix and manipulate droplets and objects including pure water, hydrocarbons, solid particles and capsules. The droplets and objects float freely in fluorinated oil. The oil contains the droplets and keeps materials from mixing until they are brought together.

The system could eventually be used in handheld labs-on-a-chip that handle biological cells and molecules. The method can also be used to precipitate materials out of droplets and even solidify them to make new materials, according to the researchers.

The system is relatively inexpensive, easy to implement, and takes two orders of magnitude less energy than systems that use electricity to move droplets that are sandwiched between plates or reside on a solid surface, according to the researchers. Biochips that move droplets on surfaces are faster, however.

The system could be used in practical applications in a few years, according to the researchers. The work appeared in the December 4, 2003 issue of Nature.

Page One

PDA translates speech

Device guards Net against viruses

Body handles nanofiber

Microfluidics make flat screens

Chemists grow nano menagerie
Solid fuel cell works in heat
Hybrid crypto secures images
Chip uses oil to move droplets
Light spots sort particles
Organic transistors get small

Research Watch blog

View from the High Ground Q&A
How It Works

RSS Feeds:
News  | Blog

Ad links:
Buy an ad link


Ad links: Clear History

Buy an ad link

Home     Archive     Resources    Feeds     Glossary
TRN Finder     Research Dir.    Events Dir.      Researchers     Bookshelf
   Contribute      Under Development     T-shirts etc.     Classifieds

© Copyright Technology Research News, LLC 2000-2010. All rights reserved.