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Process Control for Microfluidic Samples

More and more medical tests are performed instantly and cost-effectively, applying microfluidic technologies (lab-on-a-chip). A flat plastic sample with microfluidic channels, valves or other elements inside may be used for blood testing etc.

Often, light is used for stimulating the microfluidic process or for reading out the results. So the samples are transparent and can also be tested using visible light. For quality and production control of such microfluidic chips or discs, dr.schwab offers its FPI-msd system.

The first element for reliable recognition of any defects is camera technology. dr.schwab developed individually adapted camera types. These are line-scan cameras with separated pixels for red, green, blue and monochrome, matrix cameras or microscope cameras, allowing to inspect most critical regions with pixel resolution of 1┬Ám or even smaller.

Second are advanced software routines. Supplied with a technical drawing of the microfluidic structures on the sample, the software distinguishes different regions like channels, valves, coated areas and the areas without structures. After matching the recorded camera picture with the technical drawing, individual inspection parameters are applied to these different regions. Border lines between the areas (e.g. channel walls) are masked.

In summary, the software enables verification of the pattern structure as well as defect detection inside and outside the pattern. In- or off-line versions of the FPI-msd system are available or tailored individually according the customers wishes.