Lab-on-a-chip devices are miniaturized bio-medical laboratories on a small glass/plastic plate. These lab chips can duplicate the specialized functions of their room-sized counterparts such as clinical diagnoses and tests. The key microfluidic functions required in various lab-on-a-chip devices include pumping and mixing liquids, controlling bio-reactions, dispensing samples and reagents, and separating molecules and cells/particles. Using electrokinetic microfluidics to realize these functions can make the devices fully automatic, independent of external support (e.g., tubing, valves and pump), and truly portable. Understanding, modeling and controlling of various electrokinetic microfluidic phenomena and the electrokinetic microfluidic processes are essential to systematic design and operation control of the lab-on-a-chip systems. This presentation will explain the principles of these electrokinetic microfluidic processes and how they are used in lab-on-a-chip devices. Some lab-on-a-chip devices such as real-time PCR chip, immunoassay chip and flow cytometer chip developed in Dr. Li’s lab will be introduced.

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