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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name



Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr Amar S. Basu






August, 2011

Advisor: Dr. Amar Basu

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Degree: Master of Science

With the growing need to explore molecular diversity in systems biology and drug discovery, the fractionation of biological and chemical compounds is becoming a critically important unit operation for lab-on-a-chip devices. Chemical compounds separated using HPLC and CE can be encapsulated and stored in microfluidic droplets, these droplet fractions can then be used in high throughput screening assays. We and others have demonstrated droplet microfractionation using HPLC as the separation techniques, however, microfractionation using CE has only been demonstrated once. Coupling the CE channel with drop generators has previously required in-channel electrodes. In this study, we designed a novel design which, through selective surface treatment of the PDMS channels, avoids on chip electrodes, thereby simplifying the system and avoiding bubble generation.

This study describes a microfluidic structure for encapsulating CE-separated compounds into microdroplets. Compared to prior efforts, this simpler approach avoids on-chip electrodes which cause bubble generation. It can generate heterogeneous drop libraries for high throughput screening. This technique could be used to create screening libraries of containing from complex biological or environmental samples which were separated using CE. These libraries can then be assayed and manipulated using the wealth of technologies available in drop-based fluidics.