P15611: Microfluidics Packaging/public/
Table of Contents
Systems DesignWhen considering the overall aims of this project, it is important to remember the packaging device’s role as support to the experimental Digital Microfluidic Chip (DMF). The most important function of the DMF Packaging is to maintain a controlled environment to ensure stable testing conditions for the small volumes of fluids used in the DMF device. In designing for this, we realize the emergence of secondary systems. Although we are enclosing the device, the team aims to to enable environmental control, and allow access to the chip to deliver fluid and electrical signals. These become subsystem considerations. In addition visual access to the chip remains an important part of running experiments. In system design we aim to determine the ways these functions interact with each other and begin to propose potential solutions.
Functional DecompositionThe team broke down the intended functionality of the DMF Enclosure into five primary functions: Deliver Fluid, View Droplet, Provide Electrical Connection, and View Chip. From the functional decomposition we selected concepts around which we could develop our design. This can be seen below:
BenchmarkingBenchmarking proved some difficulty as there are no devices on the market that perform the same functions as this project aims to achieve. Two devices that we looked at were the Sandia Lab Digital Microfluidics Hub and the University of Toronto’s DropBot. The University of Toronto’s Wheeler Laboratory has published a great deal on their DropBot and their resources have proven very useful during our design process.
Initial Concept Sketches
Systems ArchitectureThe systems architecture breaks down the functionality of the design into multiple subsystems, and illustrates how the components work together.
FeasibilityThe feasibility analysis was a preliminary portion of the engineering analysis. It was done in order to validate that the intended design is indeed feasible.
Temperature and Humidity
Fluid DeliveryIn order to prove the feasibility of the intended fluid delivery system, which involves capillary tubing and pressure controls, the team decided to benchmark against the Sandia National Laboratories' Microfluidics Hub (see Benchmarking above):
- Uses capillary tubes as delivery medium
- Applied pressure source is used to form a droplet at the surface of the chip
- The droplet is extracted by means of DMF electrode actuation