A microfabricated device and method for proportioning and mixing electrokinetically manipulated biological or chemical materials is disclosed. The microfabricated device mixes a plurality of materials in volumetric proportions controlled by the electrical resistances of tributary reagent channels through which the materials are transported. The microchip includes two or more tributary reagent channels combining at one or more junctions to form one or more mixing channels. By varying the geometries of the channels (length, cross section, etc.), a plurality of reagent materials can be mixed at a junction such that the proportions of the reagent materials in the mixing channel depend on a ratio of the channel geometries and material properties. Such an approach facilitates voltage division on the microchip without relying on external wiring schemes and voltage division techniques external to the microchip. Microchannel designs that provide the necessary voltage division to accomplish electrokinetic valving operations using a single voltage source and a switch are also described. In addition, microchannel designs that accomplish fluidic operation utilizing a minimal number of fluidic reservoirs are disclosed.
This invention was made with government support under contract DE-AC05-960R22464 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation and the government has certain rights in this invention.