Microthermofluidic System

Miniaturization of Micro-thermofluidic systems has led to tremendous attention due to their ability to be portable, automated, easy-to-operate, low power, and low-cost microdevices that are amenable to be integrated for various microfluidic-based point-of-care testing applications. The development of a micro-thermofluidic system requires the integration of multiple functions such as controller, heater, sensor, and recorder within a compact platform. Further, a precise, stable, reliable, and easy-to-use thermal management system is essential to deliver rapid data output in real-time for continuous monitoring. The spectrum of applications requiring proper temperature management with appropriate heating techniques is growing rapidly with increasingly important implications for the physical, chemical, and biotechnological sectors. Such temperature control is a critical parameter in managing many physical, chemical, and biological applications. Prominent applications of micro-devices requiring specific temperature control include nucleic acid amplification, nanoparticle synthesis, and digital microfluidics.
However, it has been observed that the existing conventional devices lack advanced technologies, consume more power, have slower processing, and are expensive. Herein, an automated, integrated, miniaturized, easy-to-use, low-cost, portable, and off-the-shelf microcontroller with IoT enabled micro-thermofluidic system has been demonstrated. The device was automated using a microcontroller, and the real-time temperature data logging facility was incorporated using Bluetooth and IoT modules leading to access and store data even in a smartphone for further analysis. The device operated at low power of 9.6 W with a temperature accuracy of ±0.5°C. Further, the proposed device offers opportunities for diversified new concepts to implement in microfluidic temperature-based point-of-care applications

Author(s): Madhusudan Kulkarni

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