Localized Droplet Heating with Surface Electrodes in Microfluidic Chips

Tech ID: 21604 / UC Case 2009-438-0


Researchers at UCLA have developed a low-cost, fully miniaturized lab-on-a-chip system that is capable of localized temperature control without the need to interface with macroscale tubes, thus taking full advantage of miniaturization via microfluidic protocols.


Microfluidics offers many advantages, such as automatically performing assays and minimal reagent usage. Most lab-on-a-chip systems, however, still require interfacing with macroscale tubes for pressure driven fluid handling. This inhibits scalability and parallelization and requires excessive power consumption.


Researchers at UCLA have developed a fully miniaturized lab-on-a-chip system that performs multiplex thermal processing of discrete micro- and nano-liter sample droplets. The invention enables facile integration of localized temperature control and droplet centering mechanism in addition to basic microfluidic functionalities. Furthermore, the integrated functionalities are implemented via simple thin-film processes without complicating or lengthening the fabrication process.


  • Microfluidic lab-on-a-chip systems for chemical, biochemical, and biological assays


  • Low power consumption
  • Integrated local temperature control
  • Integrated sample location control
  • Simple fabrication process
  • Scalable and reconfigurable methodology

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,459,295 06/11/2013 2009-438


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  • Kim, Chang-Jin

Other Information


Biomedical, Chemicals, Devices, Diagnostic, Drug Discovery, Drug Screening, Electrical, Materials, MEMS, microfluidic chip, lab-on-cip, Electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWOD), Proteomics

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