The core of the Fraunhofer ivD-platform is a self-contained, active, microfluidic cartridge. The cartridge holds an electrochemical or optical biosensor, reagents and integrated microfluidic actuators (pumps). Together with a read-out instrument it can run a bioassay in a fully automated way without any fluidic interfaces to the instrument. The cartridge is produced by low-cost injection-moulding processes.
The microfluidic cartridge consists of two main parts. The bottom part provides the integrated micropumps together with an electrical interface to the instrument. The injection-moulded top part of the cartridge incorporates the reservoirs and the microfluidic channel system. The reservoirs can be filled from the top through filling holes. The cartridge contains eight reservoirs with different volumina (up to 150 µL), two sensor areas (for the electrochemical and optical read-out) and a waste reservoir. The cartridge has the size of a credit card enabling the application as a point-of-care product.
Reagents are stored directly in the reservoirs and are transported through the microchannel system by means of low-cost pumps. This avoid any fluidic interface to the instrument. The integration of the micropumps avoids contamination and interfacing issues.
The Core element: Flexible and adaptable microfluidic ivD-Cartridge
Pumping sequence of the ivD-cartridge - arrows indicate flow direction