Analytical investigations on the effects of substrate kinetics on macromolecular transport and hybridization through microfluidic channels.

Research paper by Siddhartha S Das, Kapil K Subramanian, Suman S Chakraborty

Indexed on: 08 May '07Published on: 08 May '07Published in: Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces


In this paper, a generalized surface-kinetics based model is developed to analytically investigate the influences of the substrate types and the buffer compositions on the macromolecular transport and hybridization in microfluidic channels, under electrokinetic influences. For specific illustration, three typical microchannel substrates, namely silanized glass, polycarbonate and PDMS, are considered, in order to obtain analytical expressions for their zeta potentials as a function of the buffer pH and the substrate compositions. The expressions for the zeta potential are subsequently employed to derive the respective velocity distributions, under the application of electric fields of identical strengths in all cases. It is also taken into consideration that the charged macromolecules introduced into these channels are subjected to electrophoretic influences on account of the applied electric fields. Closed form expressions are derived to predict the transport behaviour of the macromolecules and their subsequent hybridization characteristics. From the analysis presented, it is shown that the modification of the channel surface with silane-treatment becomes useful for enhancing the macromolecular transport and surface hybridization, only if the buffer pH permits a large surface charge density. The analytical solutions are also compared with full-scale numerical solutions of the coupled problem of fluid dynamic and macromolecular transport in presence of the pertinent surface reactions, in order to justify the effectiveness of closed-form expressions derived in this study.