A miniaturized flow reaction chamber for use in combination with QCM-D sensing
Journal article, 2010
A miniaturized flow chamber for quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) has been developed. The main purpose was to reduce the total liquid sample consumption during an experiment, but also to gain advantages with respect to kinetics and mass transport by reducing the boundary diffusion layer. The bottom of the flow chamber is a QCM-D sensor surface, on which a polydimethylsiloxane spacer ring, fabricated onto a poly(methyl methacrylate) lid, is placed symmetrically around the QCM-D electrode (diameter similar to 10 mm). The spacer ring defines the inner chamber height (typically 40-50 mu m) and provides sealing. Through the lid, there are inlet and outlet channels. The typical chamber volume is in the range of 2.5-3.5 mu l (with a 10 mu l dead volume). In flow mode, we have operated the cell at flow rates of 6-50 mu l/min, i.e., volume turnovers of 2-17 per min. As a model system, to test the microcell, the formation of supported phospholipid bilayers on a SiO2 surface was studied. For comparison, the same process was studied in a commercially available QCM-D equipment with significantly larger total volume (by a factor of 20). The decrease in effective sample consumption to produce a bilayer on the sensor surface in the chamber was approximately proportional to the decrease in chamber volume. Smaller volume also reduced the liquid exchange time. Potential improvements of the chamber include further optimization of the flow profile and, in addition, further miniaturization by decreasing the chamber height and the sensor radius.
Boundary layer diffusion
Miniaturized flow chamber
Supported lipid bilayers