United States Patent: 6454945 - Microfabricated devices and methods

Publication Type:



Number 6454945 (2002)




This invention provides microfabricated systems for extraction of desired particles from a sample stream containing desired and undesired particles. The sample stream is placed in laminar flow contact with an extraction stream under conditions in which inertial effects are negligible. The contact between the two streams is maintained for a sufficient period of time to allow differential transport of the desired particles from the sample stream into the extraction stream. In a preferred embodiment the differential transport mechanism is diffusion. The extraction system of this invention coupled to a microfabricated diffusion-based mixing device and/or sensing means allows picoliter quantities of fluid to be processed or analyzed on devices no larger than silicon wafers. Such diffusion-based mixing or sensing devices are preferably channel cell systems for detecting the presence and/or measuring the quantity of analyte particles in a sample stream.