Microtech 2011

A Novel Microfluidic Magnetic Mixer Using Dynamic Switching Field

S.M. Azimi, W. Balachandran, J. Ahern

Keywords: magnetic beads, micromixing, magnetic mixing, DNA extraction


This paper introduces a novel magnetic mixer to be used in DNA extraction and purification process. This mixer uses two external coils to efficiently control the bulk of superparamagnetic beads inside the mixing chamber/channel. Since the direction of magnetic field strength and gradient is toward the inner edge of the coils, magnetic beads will migrate toward this region and will be clumped at the centre of the chamber/channel. This process will reduce the efficiency of mixing in application of magnetic mixers in DNA extraction chips. This paper introduces a new magnetic field pattern in order to un-pile the clump of magnetic beads by dynamic shifting of magnetic field regions from the centre of the coil to the outer edge of the coil and vice versa. In this method, the magnetic field shifting will take place by variation of electric current direction in coils and creation of overlap in working cycle of the coils. By applying overlap cycles, two magnetic field patterns will be created inside the chamber; quadrupole field pattern and solenoidal field pattern. In this paper a capillary tube is used to investigate the performance of mixing under different field pattern. The preliminary result indicated efficient control of magnetic beads inside the tube by combination of switching magnetic field and quadrupole filed pattern. The application of solenoidal field pattern is more suitable for clamping process.

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