Caister Academic Press

Introduction to Electrokinetic Transport in Microfluidic Systems

David Erickson and Mekala Krishnan
from: Lab-on-a-Chip Technology (Vol. 1): Fabrication and Microfluidics (Edited by: Keith E. Herold and Avraham Rasooly). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2009)


In this chapter we provide an introduction to the use of electrokinetic transport in lab-on-chip devices and other microfluidic systems. Specifically we focus on direct current (DC) electrokinetic phenomena (electroosmosis, electrophoresis and dielectrophoresis) and its use in transporting a range of different species from biomolecules to cells. In the first part of this chapter we introduce a simple theoretical framework for electrokinetic transport. Sufficient detail is provided to describe the underlying physics without requiring overwhelming mathematics. This is followed by detailed description of a simple experimental implementation of electrokinetics for DNA hybridization analysis. The effects of transport on the hybridization efficiency are discussed along with methods by which numerical analysis can help design optimal chip operational conditions. In the final section the advantages and disadvantages of electrokinetics are discussed in the context of other methods of performing on-chip transport and some future analytical needs read more ...
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