A premise of the lab-on-a-chip paradigm is the integration of several processing stages of a chemical or biochemical analytical procedure together with microfluidics and detection methods. This entails reliability, sensitivity and specificity of the analytical systems. Although electrochemical and mechanical approaches are common, optical detection remains predominant, mainly due to its non-invasiveness, high sensitivity and small footprint.
In this respect, many research groups – including our own – have concentrated their efforts in developing photonic lab-on-a-chip (PhLoC).
In this seminar we will show how it is possible to implement advanced PhLoC with an outstanding level of integration, but only requiring a maximum of two, non-critical photolithographic steps. Here, using only polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), air and buffer as constituent materials, high quality micro-optical elements can be defined together with arbitrarily complex microfluidic networks.
Several examples from our lab research will be presented, including more advanced configurations. In the last part of this seminar, new approaches will also be introduced, such as the electrically tunable 1×5 optofluidic router for on-chip light routing. Such system can redirect light from an optical input channel into five output channels by exploiting liquid–liquid mirrors, which are aligned using integrated electrowetting-on- dielectrics (EWOD) actuators.