Integration of impedance spectroscopy sensors in a digital microfluidic platform
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Digital microfluidics combines the advantages of a low consumption of reagents with a high flexibility of processing fluid samples. For applications in life sciences not only the processing but also the characterization of fluids is crucial. In this contribution, a microfluidic platform, combining the actuation principle of electrowetting
on dielectrics for droplet manipulations and the sensor principle of impedance spectroscopy for the characterization of the fluid composition and condition, is presented. The fabrication process of the microfluidic platform comprises physical vapor deposition and structuring of the
metal electrodes onto a substrate, the deposition of a dielectric isolator and a hydrophobic top coating. The key advantage of this microfluidic chip is the common electric nature of the sensor and the actuation principle. This allows for fabricating digital microfluidicdevices with a minimal number of process steps. Multiple measurements on fluids of different composition (including rigid particles) and of different conditions (temperature, sedimentation) were
performed and process parameters were monitored online. These sample applications demonstrate the versatile applications of this combined technology.