As medical researchers and engineers try to shrink diagnostics to fit in a person’s pocket, one question is how to easily move and mix small samples of liquid.
University of Washington researchers have built and patented a surface that, when shaken, moves drops along certain paths to conduct medical or environmental tests.
“This allows us to move drops as far as we want, and in any kind of layout that we want,” said Karl Böhringer, a UW professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering. The low-cost system, published in a recent issue of the journal Advanced Materials, would require very little energy and avoids possible contamination by diluting or electrifying the samples in order to move them. (more…)