Nanofluidic Biological Sample Preparation

While microfluidics-based technologies have made a significant impact on military and civilian sensor needs, an area of emerging research that needs further development is the use of nanoscale fluidic devices and sensors to allow chemical and biochemical processing at the molecular level. Because different physical phenomena emerge at the nanoscale, novel applications at the single-molecule level such as molecular sorting and sieving to increase analyte concentrations render nanofluidic technologies an extremely promising field of study.

CFDRC is developing novel nanofluidics-enhanced component technologies for integration into a portable sensor system for ultra-sensitive detection of biological threat agents. The system will harness recently discovered nanofluidic phenomena of charge exclusion based separation and sample preconcentration, and couple them with a sensor. These nanoscale phenomena, not attainable in microfluidic/capillary systems, form a critical basis for our nanofluidic technology. The developed sensor technologies have broad applications including traditional chem/bio agent detection, environmental quality monitoring, biochemical manufacturing, and healthcare.