Mixing with bubbles: a practical technology for use with portable microfluidic devices

Lab Chip. 2006 Feb;6(2):207-12. doi: 10.1039/b510843h. Epub 2005 Dec 15.


This paper demonstrates a methodology for micromixing that is sufficiently simple that it can be used in portable microfluidic devices. It illustrates the use of the micromixer by incorporating it into an elementary, portable microfluidic system that includes sample introduction, sample filtration, and valving. This system has the following characteristics: (i) it is powered with a single hand-operated source of vacuum, (ii) it allows samples to be loaded easily by depositing them into prefabricated wells, (iii) the samples are filtered in situ to prevent clogging of the microchannels, (iv) the structure of the channels ensure mixing of the laminar streams by interaction with bubbles of gas introduced into the channels, (v) the device is prepared in a single-step soft-lithographic process, and (vi) the device can be prepared to be resistant to the adsorption of proteins, and can be used with or without surface-active agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Microbubbles*
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / instrumentation
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / methods*
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Solutions / chemistry*


  • Proteins
  • Solutions