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1. (WO2015173658) DISPOSITIFS MICROFLUIDIQUES QUI COMPRENNENT DES CONDUITS QUI PEUVENT COULISSER LES UNS PAR RAPPORT AUX AUTRES ET PROCÉDÉS D'UTILISATION DE CEUX-CI
Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

What is claimed is:

1. A micro fluidic system comprising:

a first substrate comprising at least one reservoir in fluid communication with an upper opening at an upper surface of the first substrate and a lower opening at a lower surface of the first substrate, wherein the lower opening is dimensioned such that a liquid held in the reservoir is prevented from flowing through the lower opening and into ambient atmosphere by surface tension;

a mechanical subsystem supporting the first substrate in an orientation such that liquid dispensed to the upper opening flows into the reservoir; and

a second substrate coupled to and controlled by the mechanical subsystem, the second substrate comprising a receptacle open to a surface of the second substrate, wherein operation of the mechanical subsystem while a liquid is held within the reservoir brings the second substrate into contact with a surface of the liquid, causing the liquid to flow into the receptacle.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein:

the reservoir defines an open-ended channel through the substrate;

the receptacle defines an open-sided channel at the surface of the second substrate; and the mechanical subsystem holds the first and second substrates such that an axis of the open-ended channel and an axis of the open- sided channel define a non-zero angle.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the lower opening defines an aperture with an area less than or equal to 3 mm2.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the lower opening defines a circular aperture with a diameter less than or equal to 0.7 mm.

5. The system of claim 1, wherein the mechanical subsystem supports the first substrate with the lower surface oriented in a downward facing direction and is operable to slide the second substrate horizontally to bring the receptacle to within less than 1 mm of the lower opening to cause liquid to flow from the reservoir into the receptacle.

6. A microfluidic system, the system comprising:

a first channel comprising an open end; and

a second channel comprising an open end, wherein the first and second channels are slidable relative to each other such that when the open end of the first channel and the open end of the second channel are aligned with each other, fluid flows from the first channel into the second channel.

7. The microfluidic system according to claim 6, wherein the channels are horizontally slideable relative to each other.

8. The microfluidic system according to claim 7, wherein the open end of the first channel and the open end of the second channel are exposed to atmospheric pressure.

9. The microfluidic system according to claim 8, wherein the first and second channels are arranged in relation to each such that an air gap exists when the open end of the first channel and the open end of the second channel are aligned with each other and fluid from the first channel bridges the air gap and enters the second channel.

10. The microfluidic system according to claim 9, wherein the first and second channels are arranged such that gravity causes flow of fluid within the first and second channels when the open end of the first channel and the open end of the second channel are aligned with each other.

11. The microfluidic system according to claim 10, wherein the first and second channels are configured such that when they are not aligned, fluid does not flow within the first and second channels.

12. The microfluidic system according to claim 11, wherein the system further comprises at least one collection vessel downstream of the second channel.

13. The micro fluidic system according to claim 11, further comprising a third channel downstream of the second channel, wherein the third channel comprises an open end and the second and third channels are slidable relative to each other.

14. A method for handling fluid, the method comprising:

providing a microfluidic system that comprises a first channel comprising an open end; and a second channel comprising an open end, wherein the first and second channels are slidable relative to each other such that when the open end of the first channel and the open end of the second channel are aligned with each other, fluid flows from the first channel into the second channel;

loading a fluid into the first channel; and

sliding either the first or second channel such that the open end of the first channel is aligned with the open end of the second channel, thereby causing at least a portion of the fluid to flow into the second channel.

15. The method according to claim 14, wherein the channels are horizontally slideable relative to each other.

16. The method according to claim 15, wherein the open end of the first channel and the open end of the second channel are exposed to atmospheric pressure.

17. The method according to claim 16, wherein the first and second channels are arranged in relation to each such that an air gap exists when the open end of the first channel and the open end of the second channel are aligned with each other and fluid from the first channel bridges the air gap and enters the second channel.

18. The method to claim 17, wherein the first and second channels are arranged such that gravity causes flow of fluid within the first and second channels when the open end of the first channel and the open end of the second channel are aligned with each other.

19. The method according to claim 18, wherein the first and second channels are configured such that when they are not aligned, fluid does not flow within the first and second channels.

20. The method according to claim 19, wherein the system further comprises at least one collection vessel downstream of the second channel and the method further comprises:

aligning the open end of the second channel with an opening in the collection vessel; and flowing the portion of fluid from the second channel into the collection vessel.

21. The method according to claim 19, further comprising a third channel downstream of the second channel, wherein the third channel comprises an open end and the second and third channels are slidable relative to each other.

22. The method according to claim 19, wherein the fluid is a single phase fluid.

23. The method according to claim 19, wherein the fluid comprises droplets that are immiscible with the fluid.

24. The method according to claim 23, wherein the fluid is an oil and the droplets comprise an aqueous fluid.

25. The method according to claim 24, wherein the oil comprises a surfactant.

26. A method of transferring liquid within a microfluidic system, the method comprising:

holding a liquid within an open-ended microfluidic channel in a substrate by surface tension such that a surface of the liquid at a lower end of the open-ended microfluidic channel is exposed to an atmosphere around the substrate; and

bringing a second substrate into proximity with the substrate such that at least a portion of an edge of a second channel makes contact with the surface, thereby breaking the surface tension that holds the liquid within the open-ended microfluidic channel and causing the liquid to flow into the second channel.

27. The method of claim 26, wherein the lower end defines an opening no greater than 0.6 mm across.

28. The method of claim 26, wherein the second substrate is mechanically coupled to the substrate by a mechanism that is operable to horizontally slide the second substrate into proximity with the substrate.

29. The method of claim 26, wherein the liquid is caused to flow into a portion of a second the second channel that defines an open-sided, half-pipe configuration.

30. The method of claim 26, wherein holding the liquid within the open-ended microfluidic channel includes holding the substrate in an orientation wherein the lower end is oriented downward and the surface tension holds the liquid against the force of gravity.

31. A microfluidic system, the system comprising:

a first channel comprising an open end; and

a second channel, wherein the second channel comprises an open-sided portion; and wherein the first and second channels are positioned at an angle relative to each other and are slidable relative to each other such that a fluid in the first channel is retained therein when the second channel is not aligned with the first channel, and when the open end of the first channel and the open-sided portion of the second channel are aligned with each other, the fluid flows from the first channel into the second channel.

32. The microfluidic system according to claim 31 , wherein the angle is between 0 and 90 degrees.

33. The microfluidic system according to claim 31, wherein the angle is between 30 degrees and 90 degrees.

34. The microfluidic system according to claim 31, wherein the angle is between 45 degrees and 90 degrees.

35. The micro fluidic system according to claim 31, wherein the fluid flows from the first channel into the second channel when:

the open end of the first channel and the open-sided portion of the second channel are aligned with each other;

the system is exposed to atmospheric pressure; and

the open-sided portion of the second channel makes contact with a surface of the fluid.

36. The micro fluidic system according to claim 31, wherein the first and second channels are arranged in relation to each other such that an air gap exists when the open end of the first channel and a portion of the second channel are aligned with each other and fluid from the first channel bridges the air gap and enters the second channel.

37. The microfluidic system according to claim 36, wherein the first and second channels are arranged such that gravity causes flow of fluid within the first channel when the open end of the first channel and a portion of the second channel are aligned with each other.

38. The microfluidic system according to claim 31 , wherein the fluid is retained in the first channel by surface tension when the second channel is not aligned with the first channel.

39. The microfluidic system according to claim 21, the system further comprising a mechanical control system operable to slide the second channel into alignment with the first channel.

40. The microfluidic system according to claim 31 , wherein the open end of the first channel is less than 2 mm across in all directions.

41. The microfluidic system according to claim 31 , wherein the open end of the first channel comprises a circular opening with a diameter less than or equal to 2 mm.

42. A microfluidic system, the system comprising:

a first channel comprising an open end;

an intermediate channel comprising two open ends, wherein the first channel and the intermediate channel are slidable relative to each other such that when one open end of the intermediate channel and the open end of the first channel are aligned, fluid flows from the first channel into the intermediate channel;

a second channel, wherein the second channel is an open channel; and wherein the intermediate and second channels are positioned orthogonal relative to each other and are slidable relative to each other such that when an open end of the intermediate channel and a portion of the second channel are aligned with each other, fluid flows from the intermediate channel into the second channel.

43. The micro fluidic system according to claim 42, wherein the open end of the first channel, the open ends of the intermediate channel, and the second channel are exposed to atmospheric pressure.

44. The microfluidic system according to claim 42, wherein the first and intermediate channels are arranged in relation to each such that an air gap exists when the open end of the first channel and the open end of the intermediate channel are aligned with each other and fluid from the first channel bridges the air gap and enters the intermediate channel.

45. The microfluidic system according to claim 42, wherein the first and intermediate channels are arranged such that gravity causes flow of fluid within the first and intermediate channels when the open end of the first channel and the open end of the intermediate channel are aligned with each other.

46. The microfluidic system according to claim 42, wherein the first and intermediate channels are configured such that when they are not aligned, fluid does not flow within the first channel.

47. The microfluidic system according to claim 42, wherein the intermediate and second channels are arranged in relation to each such that an air gap exists when the open end of the intermediate channel and an open portion of the second channel are aligned with each other and fluid from the intermediate channel bridges the air gap and enters the second channel.

48. The micro fluidic system according to claim 47, wherein the intermediate and second channels are arranged such that gravity causes flow of fluid within the intermediate and second channels when the open end of the intermediate channel and an open portion of the second channel are aligned with each other.

49. The microfluidic system according to claim 42, wherein the first, intermediate and second channels are arranged in relation to each such that an air gap exists when the open end of the first channel and the open end of the intermediate channel are aligned with each other and such that an air gap exists when the second open end of the intermediate channel and a portion of the second channel are aligned with each other such that fluid from the first channel bridges the air gap and enters the intermediate channel and fluid from the intermediate channel bridges the air gap and enters the second channel.

50. The microfluidic system according to claim 42, wherein the system further comprises at least one collection vessel in f uid communication with the second channel.

51. A method for handling fluid, the method comprising:

providing a microfluidic system that comprises a first channel comprising an open end; and a second channel, wherein the second channel is an open channel, wherein the first and second channels are slidable relative to each other such that when the open end of the first channel and the open second channel are aligned with each other, fluid flows from the first channel into the second channel;

loading a fluid into the first channel; and

sliding either the first or second channel such that the open end of the first channel is aligned with the open portion of the open channel, thereby causing at least a portion of the fluid to flow into the second channel.

52. The method according to claim 51, wherein the first and second channels are arranged in relation to each such that an air gap exists when the open end of the first channel and the open portion of the open second channel are aligned with each other and fluid from the first channel bridges the air gap and enters the second channel.

53. The method to claim 52, wherein the first and second channels are arranged such that gravity contributes to the flow of fluid within the first and second channels when the open end of the first channel and the open portion of the second channel are aligned with each other.

54. The method according to claim 51, wherein the first and second channels are configured such that when they are not aligned, fluid does not flow within the first and second channels.

55. The method according to claim 51, wherein the fluid is a single phase fluid.

56. The method according to claim 51, wherein the fluid comprises droplets that are immiscible with the fluid.

57. The method according to claim 56, wherein the fluid comprises an oil and the droplets comprise an aqueous fluid.

58. The method according to claim 57, wherein the fluid further comprises a surfactant.