Versatile microfluidic total internal reflection (TIR)-based devices: Application to microbeads velocity measurement and single molecule detection with upright and inverted microscope Academic Article uri icon


  • A poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) chip for Total Internal Reflection (TIR)-based imaging and detection has been developed using Si bulk micromachining and PDMS casting. In this paper, we report the applications of the chip on both inverted and upright fluorescent microscopes and confirm that two types of sample delivery platforms, PDMS microchannel and glass microchannel, can be easily integrated depending on the magnification of an objective lens needed to visualize a sample. Although any device configuration can be achievable, here we performed two experiments to demonstrate the versatility of the microfluidic TIR-based devices. The first experiment was velocity measurement of Nile red microbeads with nominal diameter of 500 nm in a pressure-driven flow. The time-sequenced fluorescent images of microbeads, illuminated by an evanescent field, were cross-correlated by a Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) program to obtain near-wall velocity field of the microbeads at various flow rates from 500 nl/min to 3000 nl/min. We then evaluated the capabilities of the device for Single Molecule Detection (SMD) of fluorescently labeled DNA molecules from 30 bp to 48.5 kbp and confirm that DNA molecules as short as 1105 bp were detectable. Our versatile, integrated device could provide low-cost and fast accessibility to Total Internal Reflection Fluorescent Microscopy (TIRFM) on both conventional upright and inverted microscopes. It could also be a useful component in a Micro-Total Analysis System (micro-TAS) to analyze nanoparticles or biomolecules near-wall transport or motion.

author list (cited authors)

  • Le, N., Yokokawa, R., Dao, D. V., Nguyen, T. D., Wells, J. C., & Sugiyama, S.

citation count

  • 22

publication date

  • January 2009