- Localized heating of sheath flow around a sample to change its physical properties, therefore changing the equilibrium hydrodynamic flow conditions
- Low-powered, "eye-safe" laser is configured at the desired location in the flow channel to shift the sample flow
- Flow shifting is controlled by the optical absorption in the sheath flow and can be optimized for specific channel dimensions, flow rates, and shifting in multiple directions
- Analog and digital modulation of flow is possible – returns to original state in absence of shift-control beam
Testing/Validation at NRL
- Invention was developed to address the requirements of a hand-held micro-fluidic analyzer/sorter, an Office of Naval Research applied research program. The technology is Technical Readiness Level 4
Opportunities for commercial/government application
- Concentration/Purification of Samples: Bio/chemical sensing
- Switching in optofluidics: Fluidic waveguides, filters
- Point-of-care medical evaluation
- The Portable Analysis Instrumentation (PAI) market is forecasted to reach in excess of $8.5 billion in 2018. One of the technology drivers for this forecast is the development of optofluidic devices.
Janet Lou, Optical Sciences, 5600
US Patent Number 8,528,582 entitled “Method of changing fluid flow by using an optical beam” filed April 26,2012 on behalf of Janet w. Lou, Carl A. Villarruel, Ross Schermer
- J. W. Lou, C. A. Villarruel, and R. T. Schermer, “Optically-Activated Core Flow Shifting within a Focused Flow”, Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 99, 054102, 2011.
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