Design, fabrication and testing of a microfluidic channel platform for sensor chip manipulation and data retreival
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The exploration and production of oil and gas resources require innovative information acquisition strategies for wellbore environments to improve reservoir management. In this study, a microfluidic channel data retrieval platform was proposed for multiple sensor chip manipulation, wireless charging and information extraction in fluidic mediums. The working principle of near-field magneto inductive coupling was investigated and a prototype of a microfluidic channel integrated with a spiral reader antenna was designed and fabricated. Sensor chip manipulations and dynamic couplings between readers and sensors were demonstrated inside the proposed microfluidic channel. Furthermore, solid fluidic interaction between sensors and flows was analyzed. Comsol simulation was conducted to quantitatively characterize flow drag forces inside the channel. To prevent communication interference between sensors in the proposed coupling region, sensor separation strategies based on side channel and meander channel design were proposed and realized to separate sensors one by one by the desired distance. To enhance the efficiency of the sensor separation process, a new channel design based on a spinning blade with real-time image processing was also developed for feedback control of separation. Additionally, a 500-micron cubic sensor antenna was cut by a dicing saw and assembled into an 800-micron cubic package. Magneto inductive couplings between readers and the assembly package were conducted out of the channel. The results show that the coupling effect is strongly related with the orientation between the reader and the assembly package. Finally, the assembly package control with desired velocity and direction in oil mediums was successfully realized inside the channel.
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