Description: Current microfluidic devices are hampered by the relative crudeness of methods used to turn information conveyed by the movement of a fluid into an electronic signal so that it can be processed by a computer. Signals have traditionally been converted through optical sensing – using a video camera or by exciting fluorescent dyes already present in the fluid. These methods are often cumbersome, expensive and can only confer limited data.
The first ever liquid transistor has been created. The new device is very similar to an ordinary semiconductor FET (field-effect transistor), but operates completely in the liquid state (a “LiquiFET”). It can therefore directly convert charge-related information from the liquid state into conventional electronic signals. The LiquiFET transistors ‘have great potential for bioapplications – they can directly detect, manipulate and analyze liquids, and they can be immersed in liquids.
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