Quantification of mix and catch efficiency and evaluation in an integrated biosensor

PhD project Alexander van Reenen

The drive to miniaturization of sensors and micro-reactors is leading to the development of lab-on-a-chip systems. In these systems microfluidics plays an important role because fluid flow occurs on the millimeter to micrometer length scale. As a consequence, unconventional techniques need to be applied in order to induce the mixing of fluids and reagents inside the fluid, as well as the catching and transportation of low amounts of biological target material.

In this project we investigate the use of magnetic particles and magnetic fields to control mixing as well as catching processes. Novel concepts for particle actuation will be investigated to control the dynamics and efficiency of mixing, and to control catching and transportation of target material with particles coated with an activated surface.

The catch efficiency of bio-molecules by magnetic particles will be quantified. For this purpose we will investigate and compare different analysis techniques and biochemical systems to detect small amounts of bio-molecules with single-molecule resolution. We will use biological model assays to investigate the capture efficiency of the particles and the optimization of mixing by adaptation of the biosensor geometry and the magnetic actuation protocols. Finally, magneto-active mix and catch protocols will be evaluated in an integrated biosensor in cooperation with Philips Research.

This PhD project is performed in collaboration with the WDY group (Neehar Moharana) and the MATE group (Yang Gao), within the project “Magneto-active mixing and catching for microfluidic biosensors” which is funded by STW (www.stw.nl).