Fully integrated lab-on-a-chip systems for applications such as DNA sequencing and pathogen detection will incorporate significant microfluidic components. These systems will necessarily require the flow of large molecules such as DNA, which give the bulk fluid viscoelastic behavior. Additionally, the characteristic lengths of these molecules will approach those of the fluid channel, presenting a unique flow situation that is not well understood. The effects of microscale flow in canonical microfluidic structures on the conformation of DNA, and the reciprocal effects of DNA conformation on flow, will be assessed qualitatively and quantitatively using a variety of experimental techniques, including fluorescence microscopy, Digital Particle Image Velocimetry (DPIV), and pressure measurement studies. Deviations from Newtonian flows brought about by the viscoelastic fluid rheology, concentration effects, and conformational changes of the molecules will be determined.
Project end date: 07/29/07