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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Lab-on-a-Chip Aquatic Microorganism Analysis System

  • Author(s): Liu, Mike
  • Zheng, Siyang
  • Stauffer, Beth
  • Schnetzer, Astrid
  • Sabet, Leyla
  • Caron, David A
  • Ho, Chih-Ming
  • Tai, Y.C.
  • et al.

Lab-on-a-Chip aquatic microorganism analysis system is a project that aims to expedite research in marine biology using chip-based technology. The miniaturized device reduces the total sample and detection time. Also, the chips can be fabricated in large quantities with minimal cost so many experiments can be run in parallel. Our project is organized into two main research areas. First, we would like to develop a chip to monitor the content of the sea water and assess the concentration of different algae. The chip will take in sea water sample, separate the cells based on size, and a downstream impedance sensor will count the number of cells. The second main area of this project is to make a chip that can culture algae and screen for factors inducing toxin production. The exact causes for Peudo-nitzschia to produce toxins are unclear, and we would like to make a chip that cultures Pseudo-nitzschia under different growing conditions. The algae will be kept inside an array of micro culture chambers and an integrated combinatorial mixer will deliver eight combinatorial streams to the culture chambers. We developed a monolithic process to integrate the combinatorial mixer with culture arrays. The cell culturing functionality and fluidic testing with the chip have been completed. A laser-induced fluorescence detection system is also being developed to be used to detect domoic acid (DA) downstream of the algae culture chip.

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