A variety of micro-devices contains interacting electronic, electro-mechanical and optoelectronic components, which need to be aligned statically or dynamically. Conventional static alignment is often performed before the sealing process using high precision pick-and-placing in combination with adjustable bonding processes (such as U.V. curable glue), or reflow effects. There are however instances where an alignment has to be performed after the sealing of the package.
Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) devices are emerging devices that have received considerable interest towards their integration within lab-on-a-chip and microfluidic structures. The acoustic waves are created by the use of Interdigitated transducers (IDT). The IDT produces an acoustic wave that propagated across the surface of a coupled substrate. Surface acoustic waves have been demonstrated to be able to impart a force upon fluidic droplets, allowing for physical manipulation and transportation.
The presence of specific indicator organisms such as coliforms in seawater points to the possibility of contamination with faecal matter, consequently making the water and shellfish unsafe for human consumption. The source of the contamination either from human waste or other animals in large numbers can have a deleterious effect on coastal ecosystems and on human health, resulting in increased risks of conditions such as gastrointestinal illnesses following exposure to impacted shell fish and waters they inhabit.
A novel microfluidic sensing device based on waveguide cavity filters is proposed for the characterisation, detection of cells in solution and chemical substances in micro-litre volumes. The sensor consists of a micromachined microfluidic channel within a waveguide-based resonator localised increased near-fields and could potentially be designed for different frequency regimes to improve the sensitivity.
Sample preparation has been described as the weak link in microfluidics. In particular, plasma has to be extracted from whole blood for many analysis including protein analysis, cell-free DNA detection for prenatal diagnosis and transplant monitoring. The lack of suitable devices to perform the separation at the microscale means that Lab On Chip modules cannot be fully operated without sample preparation in a full-scale laboratory.