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May 22, 2002


Dr. Michael Ramsey
Chemical Sciences Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
"Micro- and Nanofabricated Fluidic Devices for the Acquisition of Biochemical Information"

Abstract.  Tremendous interest in microfabricated fluidic channel structures (microchips) has grown over the past decade due to the large number of powerful demonstrations that have appeared in the literature.  The diversity of chemical and biochemical measurement techniques implemented on microchips is large including various electrophoretic and chromatographic separations, chemical and enzymatic reactions, noncovalent recognition interactions, sample concentration enhancement, and cellular manipulations.  In addition the types of samples addressed by microchips has been broad in scope, e.g., small ions and molecules, single and double stranded DNA, amino acids, peptides, and proteins. These devices have low cost and small footprints while consuming miniscule quantities of reagents and producing rapid results.  Moreover, the manufacturing strategy used to make these devices, i.e., photolithography, allows highly parallel systems to be fabricated at low incremental cost.  All of these features suggest the possibility to perform chemical experimentation at a massive scale at low cost on a bench top.  More recently we have been investigating the prospects of shrinking channel lateral dimensions by a factor of ≈ 1000, i.e., to molecular length scales.  A number of interesting capabilities are possible with nanoscale channels and pores including the structural characterization of single molecules.  Fundamental studies of electrokinetic fluid transport in nanoconfined spaces have been investigated allowing the first experimental benchmarking of continuum theories for such phenomena that were developed decades ago.  In addition, potential applications of devices with ≈ 100 nm features have been demonstrated.  Some of our latest results in these areas of research will be presented.

Vanderbilt University