Flow Control Techniques for Enhancing the Bio-Recognition Performance of Microfluidic-Integrated Biosensors

Fatemeh Shahbazi, Mohammad Souri, Masoud Jabbari, Amir Keshmiri

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Biosensors are favored devices for the fast and cost-effective detection of biological species without the need for laboratories. Microfluidic integration with biosensors has advanced their capabilities in selectivity, sensitivity, controllability, and conducting multiple binding assays simulta-neously. Despite all the improvements, their design and fabrication are still challenging and time-consuming. The current study aims to enhance microfluidic-integrated biosensors’ performance. Three different functional designs are presented with both active (with the help of electroosmotic flow) and passive (geometry optimization) methods. For validation and further studies, these solutions are applied to an experimental setup for DNA hybridization. The numerical results for the original case have been validated with the experimental data from previous literature. Convection, diffusion, migration, and hybridization of DNA strands during the hybridization process have been simulated with finite element method (FEM) in 3D. Based on the results, increasing the velocity on top of the functionalized surface, by reducing the thickness of the microchamber in that area, would increase the speed of surface coverage by up to 62%. An active flow control with the help of electric field would increase this speed by 32%. In addition, other essential parameters in the fabrication of the microchamber, such as changes in pressure and bulk concentration, have been studied. The suggested designs are simple, applicable and cost-effective, and would not add extra challenges to the fabrication process. Overall, the effect of the geometry of the microchamber on the time and effectiveness of biosensors is inevitable. More studies on the geometry optimization of the micro-chamber and position of the electrodes using machine learning methods would be beneficial in future works.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7168
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2021


  • Bio-sensor design and optimization
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Electroosmotic flow
  • Engineering
  • Mass transfer in microfluidic systems


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