In the early years and still very much to date, optical detection technologies, namely fluorescence-based methods, have been the predominant detection technology for most microfluidic application cases as they reach very high sensitivity down to single molecules. For point-of-need applications however, e.g. in point-of-care diagnostics, a significant trend towards alternative detection methods can be observed. Driver behind this development is the desire for label-free and more robust methods, ideally coupled with reduced complexity requirements for the associated instrument. Sensors can be one way to achieve these goals and especially silicon photonic sensors show a great potential to combine sensitive detection with low read-out complexity. Such silicon-based devices however have to be integrated into a microfluidic cartridge which performs all other assay steps, namely sample preparation and fluid manipulation. This heterogeneous integration poses a significant challenge in manufacturing. In this paper we describe different strategies and adhesive as well as non-adhesion bonding technologies and an outline of the development process of design rules for silicon photonic sensors with respect to microfluidic cartridge integration. These design rules are necessary as they are independent from the photonic and silicon process design rules but have similar impact on the device layout.
Holger Becker and Birgit Anton, "Integration of silicon photonic devices in microfluidic cartridges (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10491, Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XVI, 1049108 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2018; Published: 15 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2297103.5752215436001.
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