Application of the lag-after-pulsed-separation (LAPS) flow meter to different protein solutions

Shramik Sengupta, Goher Mahmud, Daniel J. Chiou, Babak Ziaie, Victor H. Barocas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A lag after pulsed separation (LAPS) meter was previously developed to measure flow rates of protein solutions. The LAPS meter operates on the time-of-flight principle. An upstream event (electrophoretic concentration of the particles in one section of the device) is detected downstream (by change in ac resistance). The time lag between the event and its detection is inversely proportional to the fluid flow rate. We demonstrate the ability of the LAPS meter to measure the flow rate of solutions containing one or more charged biomacromolecules or particles. A prototype of the LAPS meter was used to measure flow rates of solutions of model proteins [bovine serum albumin (BSA), lysozyme and hemoglobin] and mixtures of BSA and lysozyme. Flow rates of 10-50 μl min-1 (average velocities of 0.24-1.2 mm s-1) were measured. When a single ac measurement was used, the results were solution-dependent, which we attribute to the interface between the protein solution and the ac electrodes. A differential mode, in which the signal from a positive and a negative dc pulse were subtracted from each other, eliminated interfacial effects and led to a single universal (solution-independent) calibration curve. The LAPS meter can be used as a non-invasive, no-moving-parts flow sensor in any microfluidic system (such as drug delivery devices or micro-reactor arrays) where one needs to measure the flow rate of a solution or a suspension containing charged species such as proteins or cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005


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