Honors College Thesis

Droplet‐Based Digital Microfluidics for Sample Collection

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  • Technology is constantly co-evolving with science to produce simple and effective tools that address the needs of researchers. Cost and time effective point-of-care devices are valuable for sample collection and analysis, particularly in medicine and environmental health and safety. Digital microfluidic (DMF) technology provides a possible solution. This study explores the application of DMF as a tool for collecting and analyzing Sputum and exhaled breath condensate (EBC) samples and Environmental dry particle samples. An assay was created that used DMF technology developed at Sandia National Laboratories to collect and analyze sputum, EBC and environmental dry particle samples. Arizona sample dust was sprinkled onto the DMF device and collected using a 3 µL water droplet that moved by electrowetting until the drop was unable to move. In sputum sample analysis, a 0.05% BSA mock sputum was sprayed onto the DMF board using a perfume bottle. EBC was collected on a chilled ITO slide. Both sputum and EBC were collected by a 3 µL droplet of Pluronic® F-127. Dust was visibly picked up, picking up 2/3 of it’s own weight in dust. The pluronic droplet increased 4-6 fold in the EBC collection and a concentration of 1.6 mg/mL of BSA was collected.
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  • Sandia National Laboratories,Department of Homeland Security
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