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Design methodology and results evaluation of a heating functionality in modular lab-on-chip systems

: Streit, P.; Nestler, J.; Shaporin, A.; Graunitz, J.; Otto, T.


Journal of micromechanics and microengineering 28 (2018), No.6, Art. 064001, 12 pp.
ISSN: 0960-1317
ISSN: 1361-6439
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ENAS ()

Lab-on-a-chip (LoC) systems offer the opportunity of fast and customized biological analyses executed at the 'point-of-need' without expensive lab equipment. Some biological processes need a temperature treatment. Therefore, it is important to ensure a defined and stable temperature distribution in the biosensor area. An integrated heating functionality is realized with discrete resistive heating elements including temperature measurement. The focus of this contribution is a design methodology and evaluation technique of the temperature distribution in the biosensor area with regard to the thermal-electrical behaviour of the heat sources. Furthermore, a sophisticated control of the biosensor temperature is proposed. A finite element (FE) model with one and more integrated heat sources in a polymer-based LoC system is used to investigate the impact of the number and arrangement of heating elements on the temperature distribution around the heating elements and in the biosensor area. Based on this model, various LOC systems are designed and fabricated. Electrical characterization of the heat sources and independent temperature measurements with infrared technique are performed to verify the model parameters and prove the simulation approach. The FE model and the proposed methodology is the foundation for optimization and evaluation of new designs with regard to temperature requirements of the biosensor. Furthermore, a linear dependency of the heater temperature on the electric current is demonstrated in the targeted temperature range of 20 °C to 70 °C enabling the usage of the heating functionality for biological reactions requiring a steady-state temperature up to 70 °C. The correlation between heater and biosensor area temperature is derived for a direct control through the heating current.