This project aims to create single-layer microfluidic gain valves for use in microfluidic devices. Autonomous microfluidic devices are essential for the long-term development of versatile biological and chemical platforms; however, the challenges of creating effective control mechanisms – e.g., the need for variable pressure sources, signal degradation in cascaded devices, and multi-stage manufacture methods – have proven considerable. Using in situ optofluidic lithography, we develop a single-layer pressure-based valve system with a static gain greater than unity. We will demonstrate the device in several microfluidic circuits, including logic gates and amplifiers. These pressure gain-based systems will enable microfluidic devices with a wide range of applications, such as flow rectifiers, oscillators, and high-precision pressure measurements. Due to ease of manufacture and design flexibility, this valve design could have widespread Lab-on-a-Chip applications by enabling self-regulation of microfluidic devices.
Project end date: 08/19/16