Microfluidic-controlled optical router for lab on a chip

Jiri Dietvorst, Jeroen Goyvaerts, Tobias Nils Ackermann, Erica Alvarez, Xavier Muñoz-Berbel, Andreu Llobera

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2019 The Royal Society of Chemistry. In multiplexed analysis, lab on a chip (LoC) devices are advantageous due to the low sample and reagent volumes required. Although optical detection is preferred for providing high sensitivity in a contactless configuration, multiplexed optical LoCs are limited by the technological complexity for integrating multiple light sources and detectors in a single device. To address this issue, we present a microfluidic-controlled optical router that enables measurement in four individual optical channels using a single light source and detector, and without movable parts. The optofluidic device is entirely fabricated in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) by soft-lithography, compatible with standard microfabrication technologies, enabling monolithic integration in LoCs. In the device, in-coupled light from an optical fiber is collimated by a polymeric micro-lens and guided through a set of four sequentially connected micro-chambers. When a micro-chamber is filled with water, light is transmitted to the next one. If it is empty of liquid, however, total internal reflection (TIR) occurs at the PDMS-air interface, re-directing the light to the output optical fiber. The router presents high performance, with low cross-talk (<2%) and high switching frequencies (up to 0.343 ± 0.006 Hz), and provides a stable signal for up to 91% of the switching time. With this miniaturized, low-cost, simple and robust design, we expect the current technology to be integrated in the new generation of multiplexed photonic LoCs for biomarker analysis, even at the point of care.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2081-2088
    Number of pages8
    JournalLab on a Chip
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2019


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