Microfluidic detection flow cells designed for plug & play fluidic and optical connection.
Packaging of microfluidic devices is one of the most challenging aspects associated with the wider adoption of microfluidic applications beyond that of the lab based prototype.
Development of robust, reliable, easy to handle, plug-and-play microfluidic devices is essential for their wider deployment in biological and chemical applications.
Microfluidic packaging can facilitate protection from electrical, chemical, biological or other environmental hazards.
However, there are a number of important aspects which must be addressed in combining the fields of chemistry, biology, microfluidics, and optoelectronics.
These include: ease of use, reliability, reusability, disposability, chemical and bio-compatibility, cost, optical imaging considerations and optimising flow conditions for detection.
As part of the Portable Integrated Battlespace Biological Detection Technology project the Microfluidics and Microengineering Group at the University of Hertfordshire designed various microfluidic biodetection flow cells incorporating antibody-based optical biosensors for detection of spores, bacteria, viruses and toxins.
The resulting integrated microfluidic consumables have been successfully tested with B. anthracis spores, F. tularensis cells, Vaccinia viruses and Ricin toxin.