PROFESSOR XING CHENG
An all-purpose programmable and scalable digital microfluidic system for large-scale parallel droplet manipulations
In almost three decades, microfluidic devices have attracted huge interests in bio and chemical applications. However, due to the large variety of analytical and synthetic tasks encountered in bio- and chemical research, it is often imperative to design and fabricate microfluidic devices for each specific application. The complexity in custom design and fabrication of lab-on-a-chip devices prevents current microfluidic devices from unleashing their full potentials. There is, therefore, a pressing need in developing a generic microfluidic platform that is suitable for a wide range of bio- and chemical applications.
In this talk, we present the development of a novel all-purpose programmable and scalable digital microfluidic platform and its peripherals that have unprecedented power and flexibility for microfluidic applications. The instrument can serve as the fluid central processing unit (F-CPU) for automating a wide range of bio/chem-analytical and synthetic tasks. The main approach is to integrate active-matrix (AM) driving circuitry into droplet-based microfluidic platform. We report current progresses in addressing key obstacles in implementing a practical large-scale system that has the capability to manipulate each and every droplet in a large array through programming. Those progresses include: a) a novel and effective approach to achieve highly reliable dc and ac actuation of droplets for hours by underlying electrodes without electrical breakdown; b) effective contamination control by novel concurrent driving of cleaning droplets and smart route configuration; and c) world-to-chip interface by a piezoelectric micro-pump array to achieve facile fluid input and output ports. We also show several applications to demonstrate the fully automatic droplet handling with the F-CPU chip and instrument.
Xing Cheng joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Southern University of Science and Technology as a full professor in 2013. He received BS degree in Geochemistry from University of Science and Technology of China in 1997, MS degree in Geochemistry from Stanford University in 1999, and PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 2005. He joined Texas A&M University as an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2006, and became an Associate Professor in 2012. He received the NSF CAREER Award and the DARPA Young Faculty Award, both in 2011. His research interests include several basic and applied areas: 1) high-resolution lithographic techniques, particularly nanoimprint; 2) electronic and photonic devices based on new semiconductors and functional materials; and 3) micro- and nanofluidic structures and devices.