Two orders of magnitude boost in the detection limit of droplet-based micro-magnetofluidics with planar hall effect sensors

Julian Schütt, Rico Illing, Oleksii Volkov, Tobias Kosub, Pablo Nicolás Granell, Hariharan Nhalil, Jürgen Fassbender, Lior Klein, Asaf Grosz, Denys Makarov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Magnetofluidics is a dynamic research field, which requires novel sensor solutions to boost the detection limit of tiny quantities of magnetized objects. Here, we present a sensing strategy relying on planar Hall effect sensors in droplet-based micro-magnetofluidics for the detection of a multiphase liquid flow, i.e., superparamagnetic aqueous droplets in an oil carrier phase. The high resolution of the sensor allows the detection of nanoliter-sized superparamagnetic droplets with a concentration of 0.58 mg/cm3, even when they are biased in a geomagnetic field only. The limit of detection can be boosted another order of magnitude, reaching 0.04 mg/cm3 (1.4 million particles in a single 100 nL droplet) when a magnetic field of 5 mT is applied to bias the droplets. With this performance, our sensing platform outperforms the state-of-the-art solutions in droplet-based micro-magnetofluidics by a factor of 100. This allows us to detect ferrofluid droplets in clinically and biologically relevant concentrations and even below without the need of externally applied magnetic fields. These results open the route for new strategies of the utilization of ferrofluids in microfluidic geometries in, e.g., bio(-chemical) or medical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20609-20617
Number of pages9
JournalACS Omega
Volume5
Issue number32
DOIs
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)

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