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Proceedings Paper

Microfluidic study of the liquid transfer properties of reservoir pins for use in microarraying
Author(s): Jonathan Pearson; Stuart A. Elmes; David F. Moore
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Paper Abstract

The technique of micro arraying involves laying down genetic elements onto a solid substrate for DNA analysis on a massively parallel scale. A pin-based robotic platform for bioMEMS is used to prepare microarrays by transferring liquid samples from microtitre plates to array pattern son the surface of coated glass slides. The liquid dries to form spots diameter < 200 micrometers . This paper present the design and performance of reservoir pins with particular emphasis on microfluidics and the influence of pin geometry and surface topology. In the newly developed manufacturing process a pin is produced by (a) wet etching of tungsten wire, followed by (b) micromachining with a focused laser to produce a capillary channel structure and a microreservoir. The pin has a flat end 100 micrometers in diameter from which a 600 micrometers long capillary channel, 15 micrometers wide leads up the pin to a reservoir. The pin capacity is 50 nanolitres of fluid containing DNA, and at least 5-0 spots can be printed before replenishing the reservoir. A typical robot holds 16- 48 pins. Scanning electron micrographs of the metal surfaces show roughness on the scale of 5 micrometers . However, the pins give consistent and reproducible spotting performance. In this paper comparisons will be made between the real life performance of the pins on the robotic platform with observations and measurements made using a video microscope system, and an assessment of the prospects for bioMEMS and further miniaturization of this technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 September 2001
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4560, Microfluidics and BioMEMS, (28 September 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.443058
Show Author Affiliations
Jonathan Pearson, BioRobotics Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Stuart A. Elmes, BioRobotics Ltd. (United Kingdom)
David F. Moore, Cambridge Univ. (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4560:
Microfluidics and BioMEMS
Carlos H. Mastrangelo; Holger Becker, Editor(s)

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