Bridging the gulf between microfluidics and high throughput industrial applications
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Miller, Brian Maxdell
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The use of biosensors and microfluidics devices is often limited by constraints in terms of volumetric throughput due to the small dimensions of devices in microfluidics and of expensive and complicated sample preparation steps necessary to ensure the operation of biosensing platforms. This can be due to high initial sample volume with low concentration analytes or complex media matrices from which analytes are extracted. While working to analyse Cryptosporidium presence in drinking water a novel technique was developed. The huge advantages from using a label-free, buffer-free hydrodynamic mechanism in terms of cost, coupled with the ease of simply scaling a single design to match any target size and the ability manufacture these quickly and easily using cheap and readily available robust materials (i.e. acrylic sheet) may allow a revolution in the scope of microfluidics applications. Using a cascaded array of hydrodynamic focusing devices uniquely designed for parallelised operation from a single pump or pressure source, the array can be tailored to meet the specific requirements of many applications, in particular high volume and low concentration target analyte enrichment from complex media.