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Method and apparatus for reducing sample dispersion in turns and junctions of microchannel systems

United States Patent

May 11, 2004
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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Microfluidic Devices
What is disclosed pertains to improvement in the performance of microchannel devices by providing turns, wyes, tees, and other junctions that produce little dispersion of a sample as it traverses the turn or junction. The reduced dispersion results from contraction and expansion regions that reduce the cross-sectional area over some portion of the turn or junction. By carefully designing the geometries of these regions, sample dispersion in turns and junctions is reduced to levels comparable to the effects of ordinary diffusion. The low dispersion features are particularly suited for microfluidic devices and systems using either electromotive force, pressure, or combinations thereof as the principle of fluid transport. Such microfluidic devices and systems are useful for separation of components, sample transport, reaction, mixing, dilution or synthesis, or combinations thereof.
Griffiths; Stewart K. (Danville, CA), Nilson; Robert H. (Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
09/ 707,337
November 6, 2000
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights to the invention.