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Automated Multiple Sample Delivery / Switching System with Controlled Volume

Many microfluidic applications, such as organ-on-a-chip and DNA/RNA sequencing, require switching between multiple reagents.  Combining PG-MFC microfluidic controller with a rotary valve, our system enables users to do multiple reagent switching. Our careful selected rotary valve has small internal channels (low dead volume) and accurate positioning system which makes it ideal for precise liquid handling. Our system achieves fast switching without pushing a large amount of reagent to clean up the previous reagent during switching. Users can choose a single pressure from PG-MFC and a manifold to apply pressure to different reagent reservoirs. Since PG-MFC has 8 pressure output channels, users can also connect the 8 pressure output directly to 8 different reagent reservoirs without a manifold. Connected with a flow sensor, the system is capable of maintaining a constant flow rate through a feedback loop during the course of their experiments.

 

Our system has the following benefits:

  • Automation

  • Fast switching time

  • Minimal cross-contamination between reagents

  • Pressure and flow-rate control

  • Easy for setup and optimization

  • Low cost

  • Controlled volume injection (optional)

System Overview:

The schematic shows the system connection using our PG-MFC controller to achieve multiple samples delivery/switching to a microfluidic chip by positive pressure.

 

A manifold is connected to an output channel of the controller. The manifold splits the single output to multiple outputs, which connect to different sample reservoirs. Each sample connects to one port of a rotary valve. By selecting the rotary valve port position using PG-MFC controller, the system achieves selective sample delivery. A liquid flow sensor can be optionally connected in the flow path. The controller is able to control the flow rate set by users through a feedback loop control. Moreover, the system is able to deliver precisely controlled injection volume of a specific sample.

Custom Design of 28-Sample Selection and Delivery System

The system consists of one microfluidic controller, three rotary/select valves, one flow sensor, one microfluidic chip stage with a temperature control unit, and several reagent reservoirs. Reagent selection is controlled by rotary valve switching, temperature control, and the reagent flow rate is monitored by the flow sensors. The entire system is controlled either directly by the GUI on PG-MFC controller, or by python scripts through the serial port on the PG controller.

 

Up to 10 reagents can be connected to one rotary valve. In the following schematics, three rotary valves are connected in series. Up to 28 reagents can be randomly selected to flow into a microfluidic chip. A flow sensor is connected between the microfluidic chip and the third rotary valve. The flow rate is monitored by the liquid flow rate sensor. PG-MFC controller is capable of controlling the flow rate through the feedback loop. The microfluidic chip is fixed on a stage with the temperature control unit, which can be controlled by the microfluidic controller as well. Users can set the desired flow rate, injection volume of a specific sample, desired temperature through  PreciGenome microfluidic controller GUI.

Applications

Rotary Valve Specs: