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Proceedings Paper

Integration of optical waveguides and microfluidics in a miniaturized antibody micro-array system for life detection in the NASA/ESA ExoMars mission
Author(s): A. Prak; H. Leeuwis; R. G. Heideman; A. Leinse; G. Borst
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Paper Abstract

Novel developments in antibody micro-array technology allow the development of very sensitive instrument that is capable of detecting a wide variety of different biomarkers from a sample liquid. An international consortium led by the UK is currently developing the Life Marker Chip as an analytical instrument for the ExoMars mission in 2018 based on the use of immunoassay technique. In this paper it will be discussed how micro/nano system hardware has been designed and the connected fabrication technology has been developed, compatible with the requirements of a Mars mission instrument and allowing a seamless integration in the instrument. A microfluidic fused silica chip integrates all the relevant components for the analysis/assay procedure (except the pumping, which is performed by a syringe-type bellows pump). The fluidic chip therefore contains an entries for intake of the pretreated sample, chambers for the solution of preloaded reagents and the hybridization reaction, liquid front sensors, inputs and output ports for the selector valve and a channel structure connecting these components. Moreover, the design has three parallel fluidic pathways in order to allow for three different classes of assays. The whole fluidic design is driven by the requirement that the dead volumes and the total liquid volume are as small as possible. It appeared that a miniaturized and integrated selector valve has far better properties than a system with numerous integrated and externally, often pneumatically actuated on-off valves. Next to this, the connected volume and mass of the whole fluid management system is lower. An optical array chip incorporates integrated waveguides, which allow for excitation of the fluorescent labels by the evanescent field of the guided light wave. The system had to be designed in such a way that the light of a single fibercoupled lightsource is distributed over all the spots (10 x 10) of the array. The LioniX proprietary waveguide technology TriPleX is the only mature technology that allows this in the required (VIS) wavelength region. The losses of this silicon-nitride based waveguide system are extremely low while allowing bends necessary to distribute the light over a matrix of spots.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 February 2011
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7928, Reliability, Packaging, Testing, and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS and Nanodevices X, 79280L (18 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.879309
Show Author Affiliations
A. Prak, LioniX BV (Netherlands)
H. Leeuwis, LioniX BV (Netherlands)
R. G. Heideman, LioniX BV (Netherlands)
A. Leinse, LioniX BV (Netherlands)
G. Borst, Dutch Space B.V. (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7928:
Reliability, Packaging, Testing, and Characterization of MEMS/MOEMS and Nanodevices X
Sonia Garcia-Blanco; Rajeshuni Ramesham, Editor(s)

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