A Portable Lab-on-a-chip Instrument based on Microchip Electrophoresis with Dual Top-Bottom Capacitive Coupled Contactless Conductivity Detector in Replaceable Cell Cartridge

K. Ansari, J.Y.S. Ying, P.C. Hauser, N.F. de Rooij, I. Rodriguez

Keywords: capacitively coupled contactless conductivity detection, portable lab-on-a-chip, microchip electrophoresis, fruit juice analysis, urine analysis, blood analysis, inorganic and organic acids


A new design for a compact portable lab-on-a-chip instrument based on microchip electrophoresis and dual capacitively coupled contactless conductivity detection (dC4D) is described. The instrument is battery powered with total dimension of 14×25×8 cm3 (w×l×h), and weighs 1.2 kg. The device consists of a front electrophoresis compartment which has the chip holder and the chip, the associated high voltage electrodes for electrophoresis injection and separation and the detector. The detection cell is integrated into the device housing with an exchangeable plug-and-play cartridge format. The design of the dC4D cell has been optimized for maximum performance. The cartridge includes the top-bottom excitation and pick up electrodes incorporated into the cell and connected to push-pull self-latching pins that are insulated with plastic. The metal frame of the cartridge is grounded completely to eliminate electronic interferences. The second compartment consists of all the electronics, data acquisition card, high voltage modules of up to ±5 kV both polarity, and batteries for 10 hours of operation. The performance is illustrated by the electrophoresis analysis of cations and anions and inorganic acids in fruit juice and inorganic cations and anions in rabbit blood samples and human urine samples are also demonstrated.