Journal article

Optofluidic membrane interferometer: An imaging method for measuring microfluidic pressure and flow rate simultaneously on a chip

We present a novel image-based method to measure the on-chip microfluidic pressure and flow rate simultaneously by using the integrated optofluidic membrane interferometers (OMIs). The device was constructed with two layers of structured polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) on a glass substrate by multilayer soft lithography. The OMI consists of a flexible air-gap optical cavity which upon illumination by monochromatic light generates interference patterns that depends on the pressure. These interference patterns were captured with a microscope and analyzed by computer based on a pattern recognition algorithm. Compared with the previous techniques for pressure sensing, this method offers several advantages including low cost, simple fabrication, large dynamic range, and high sensitivity. For pressure sensing, we demonstrate a dynamic range of 0-10 psi with an accuracy of +/- 2% of full scale. Since multiple OMIs can be integrated into a single chip for detecting pressures at multiple locations simultaneously, we also demonstrated a microfluidic flow sensing by measuring the differential pressure along a channel. Thanks to the simple fabrication that is compatible with normal microfluidics, such OMIs can be easily integrated into other microfluidic systems for in situ fluid monitoring. (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3664693]


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