In this paper we present a compact technological demonstrator including on the same glass substrate an electrowetting-on-dielectrics (EWOD) system, a linear array of amorphous silicon photosensor and a capillary-driven microfluidic channel. The proposed system comprises also a compact modular electronics controlling the digital microfluidics through the USB interface of a computer. The system provides therefore both on-chip detection and microfluidic handling needed for the realization of a ‘true’ Lab-on-Chip.
The geometry of the photosensors has been designed to maximize the radiation impinging on the photosensor and to minimize the inter-site crosstalk, while the fabrication process has been optimized taking into account the compatibility of all the technological steps for the fabrication of the EWOD system, the photosensor array and the microfluidics channels.
As a proof of the successful integration of the different technological steps we demonstrated the ability of the a-Si:H photosensors to detect the presence of a droplet over an EWOD electrode and the effective coupling between the digital and the continuous microfluidics, that can allow for functionalization, immobilization and recognition of biomolecules without external optical devices or microfluidic interconnections.