A Microchip Based Conductance Particle Counter (µCPC)

  • Blankenstein, Gert (Project Manager)

    Project Details


    The microchip based conductance particle counter (µCPC) is a micro device employing the Coulter principle1 for counting and sizing of particles (blood cells, bacteria, particles in milk etc) in liquid media. The particles are injected into an electrolyte, hydrodynamically focused into a single particle stream and passed through a small orifice in a non-conductive plate. When a comparatively non-conductive particle passes through the orifice, the conductivity in the electrolyte measured from one side of the orifice to the other falls. Counting and sizing of particles by the Coulter principle is used for many different purposes2 and is a substantial part of the medical diagnostics taking place today.
    The µCPC has been employed into a planar silicon structure and sealed with a glass lid, which enables detailed observation during operation3. The µCPC could give rise to many new approaches within medical diagnostics: By sizing down the instrument could be made portable and cutting down the price of the instrument may allow for decentralised and instant diagnostics or quality control. Making the device in a silicon structure also allows for integration of other functions such as sorting and optical detection4. The µCPC employs a variable aperture that allows for hydrodynamically adjusting the sensitivity for a specific type of particles. This idea has previously been approached in a mechanical way5.
    The µCPC is currently being redesigned utilising a 3D-flow simulation tool. After fabricating the µCPC the activities in this project will include setting up the electrical equipment and testing the µCPC by various means.
    Effective start/end date01/01/1997 → …


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