A functional on-chip pressure generator using solid chemical propellant for disposable lab-on-a-chip

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This paper presents a functional on-chip pressure generator that utilizes chemical energy from a solid chemical propellant to perform fluidic delivery in applications of plastic-based disposable biochips or lab-on-a-chip systems. In this functional on-chip pressure generator, azobis-isobutyronitrile (AIBN) as the solid chemical propellant is deposited on a microheater using a screen-printing technique, which can heat the AIBN at 70 °C to produce nitrogen gas. The output pressure of nitrogen gas, generated from the solid chemical propellant, is adjustable to a desired pressure by controlling the input power of the heater. Using this chemical energy source, the generated pressure depends on the deposited amount of the solid chemical propellant and the temperature of the microheater. Experimental measurements show that this functional on-chip pressure generator can achieve around 3 000 Pa pressure when 189 mJ of energy is applied to heat the 100 μg of AIBN. This pressure can drive 50 nl of water through a microfluidic channel of 70 mm and cross-sectional area of 100 μm × 50 μm. Due to its compact size, ease of fabrication and integration, high reliability (no moving parts), biologically inert gas output along with functionality of gas generation, this pressure generator will be an excellent pressure source for handling the fluids of disposable lab-on-a-chip, biochemical analysis systems or drug delivery systems. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2003.

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Lab on a Chip

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