The main unit of our system, the Chemical Microprocessor – ChµP is an electronically programmable microfluidic chip equipped with microelectrodes, fluidic channels and chambers, linked to a reconfigurable electronic chip. The microelectrodes are the actuator components for the “H”-shaped reaction-chamber (see also the right microscopic image) described here. Furthermore, the ChµP contains a standard field-programmable-gate-array (FPGA, Spartan2 Xilinx) to control a maximum number of electrodes individually. With this intimate control of biochemical processes a precondition for “live control” comes within reach, that the seamless integration of computer technology and biology occur in both directions simultaneously. This involves both the real time detection and data analysis of the biomolecular system and the active control of biomolecules in a hybrid system.

The schematic view illustrates an electronic-regulated chamber for an artificial cell connected to chemical supply and drain with two IO channels of 1.1 µm in height and regulated by two gold electrodes placed below each I/O. The reaction chamber, micro-moulded (SU-8 master) in PDMS with a size of 34.8 by 60 µm diameter, is effectively decoupled from the hydrodynamic flow of the supply and drain channels, while the programmable electrodes enable adjustable bulk electroosmotic flow (EOF) and electrophoresis.[1] The entire structure forms a basis of a system of programmable microfluidic networks used for electronic programming of Chemistry.







microscopic view of two “H”-reaction chambers

SOURCE:  http://www.istpace.org/Web_Final_Report/WP_6_microfluidic_complementation/microsystem_design_and_deve/programmable_microreactor_-/index.html