A modular microfluidic architecture for integrated biochemical analysis

Kashan A. Shaikh, Kee Suk Ryu, Edgar D. Goluch, Jwa Min Nam, Juewen Liu, C. Shad Thaxton, Thomas N. Chiesl, Annelise E. Barron, Yi Lu, Chad A. Mirkin, Chang Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Microfluidic laboratory-on-a-chip (LOC) systems based on a modular architecture are presented. The architecture is conceptualized on two levels: a single-chip level and a multiple-chip module (MCM) system level. At the individual chip level, a multilayer approach segregates components belonging to two fundamental categories: passive fluidic components (channels and reaction chambers) and active electromechanical control structures (sensors and actuators). This distinction is explicitly made to simplify the development process and minimize cost. Components belonging to these two categories are built separately on different physical layers and can communicate fluidically via cross-layer interconnects. The chip that hosts the electromechanical control structures is called the microfluidic breadboard (FBB). A single LOC module is constructed by attaching a chip comprised of a custom arrangement of fluid routing channels and reactors (passive chip) to the FBB. Many different LOC functions can be achieved by using different passive chips on an FBB with a standard resource configuration. Multiple modules can be interconnected to form a larger LOC system (MCM level). We demonstrated the utility of this architecture by developing systems for two separate biochemical applications: one for detection of protein markers of cancer and another for detection of metal ions. In the first case, free prostate-specific antigen was detected at 500 aM concentration by using a nanoparticle-based bio-bar-code protocol on a parallel MCM system. In the second case, we used a DNAzyme-based biosensor to identify the presence of Pb2+ (lead) at a sensitivity of 500 nM in <1 nl of solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9745-9750
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jul 12 2005


  • Laboratory-on-a-chip
  • Microfluidic breadboard
  • Polydimethylsiloxane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A modular microfluidic architecture for integrated biochemical analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this