Generation of concentration gradient by controlled flow distribution and diffusive mixing in a microfluidic chip

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-163
Journal / PublicationLab on a Chip - Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2002


We have developed a simple method to generate a concentration gradient in a microfluidic device. This method is based on the combination of controlled fluid distribution at each intersection of a microfluidic network by liquid pressure and subsequent diffusion between laminas in the downstream microchannel. A fluid dynamic model taking into account the diffusion coefficient was established to simulate the on-chip flow distribution and diffusion. Concentration gradients along a distance of a few hundred micrometers were generated in a series of microchannels. The gradients could be varied by carefully regulating the liquid pressure applied to the sample injection vials. The observed concentration gradients of fluorescent dyes generated on the microfluidic channel are consistent with the theoretically predicted results. The microfluidic design described in this study may provide a new tool for applications based on concentration gradients, including many biological and chemical analyses such as cellular reaction monitoring and drug screening.

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