Logic control of microfluidics with smart colloid

Limu Wang, Mengying Zhang, Jiaxing Li, Xiuqing Gong, Weijia Wen

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25 Scopus citations


We report the successful realization of a microfluidic chip with switching and corresponding inverting functionalities. The chips are identical logic control components incorporating a type of smart colloid, giant electrorheological fluid (GERF), which possesses reversible characteristics via a liquid-solid phase transition under external electric field. Two pairs of electrodes embedded on the sides of two microfluidic channels serve as signal input and output, respectively. One, located in the GERF micro-channel is used to control the flow status of GERF, while another one in the ither micro-fluidic channel is used to detect the signal generated with a passing-by droplet (defined as a signal droplet). Switching of the GERF from the suspended state (off-state) to the flowing state (on-state) or vice versa in the micro-channel is controlled by the appearance of signal droplets whenever they pass through the detection electrode. The output on-off signals can be easily demonstrated, clearly matching with GERF flow status. Our results show that such a logic switch is also a logic IF gate, while its inverter functions as a NOT gate. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2010.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2869
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number21
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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