Direct integration of micromachined pipettes in a flow channel for single DNA molecule study by optical tweezers

We have developed a micromachined flow cell consisting of a flow channel integrated with micropipettes. The flow cell is used in combination with an optical trap setup (optical tweezers) to study mechanical and structural properties of -DNA molecules. The flow cell was realized using silicon micromachining including the so-called buried channel technology to fabricate the micropipettes, the wet etching of glass to create the flow channel, and the powder blasting of glass to make the fluid connections. The volume of the flow cell is 2 l. The pipettes have a length of 130 m, a width of 5–10 m, a round opening of 1 m and can be processed with different shapes. Using this flow cell we stretched single molecules ( -DNA) showing typical force-extension curves also found with conventional techniques. These pipettes can be also used for drug delivery, for injection of small gas bubbles into a liquid flow to monitor the streamlines, and for the mixing of liquids to study diffusion effects. The paper describes the design, the fabrication and testing of the flow cell.

Published in:
IEEE Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, 10, 2, 238-246

 Record created 2006-02-01, last modified 2018-03-17

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