CFDRC was awarded a U.S. patent for an invention entitled "Methods and Systems Employing Electrothermally Induced Flow for Mixing and Cleaning in Microsystems." The invention is method and system for controlling flow motion in microfluidic channels and cavities. Voltages applied to electrodes in a channel or cavity are adjusted to cause Joule heating of a buffer solution.
The geometries and positions of the electrodes are adjusted to generate a temperature gradient in the buffer solution, thereby causing a non-uniform distribution of a dielectric property within the solution. The dielectric non-uniformity produces a body force and flow in the solution. This technology can be used to rapidly mix solutions in microfluidic systems and also to clean microfluidic systems between uses.
The inventors are Drs. Jerry Feng, S. Krishnamoorthy, and Vinod Makhijani.