A microfabricated device and method for proportioning and mixing biological or chemical materials by pressure- or vacuum-driven flow is disclosed. The microfabricated device mixes a plurality of materials in volumetric proportions controlled by the flow 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 flow division on the microchip without relying on techniques external to the microchip. Microchannel designs that provide the necessary flow division to accomplish valving operations using a minimum of pressure or vacuum sources are also described. In addition, microchannel designs that accomplish fluidic operation utilizing a minimal number of fluidic reservoirs are disclosed.
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS STATEMENT
The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.