How does ACXEL work?
The lab-on-a-chip (LOC) system can miniaturize complex experimental procedures and integrate them on micro-nano chips. Traditional PDMS, plastic, glass and other micro-channel microfluidic chips use external mechanical pressure for fluid drive. Although they have the ability to reduce the amount of reagents used, they cannot meet the requirements of high-throughput, large-scale parallel and precise operations in daily experiments. ACXEL combines large-area thin-film electronic technology and electro-wetting (EWOD) technology to enable high-speed, high-throughput precise parallel processing of micro-discrete liquids. ACXEL’s Active Pixel LOC (AP-LOC) adopts mature thin-film electronic backplane manufacturing technology and integrates the design concept of active pixels originally used in the display industry into the microfluidic system. Based on the principle of electrowetting, the automatic droplet sample processing is applied to the related fields of chemistry, biology and medicine, and it is seamlessly connected with the existing biological/chemical/medical production line.
Digital microfluidics
Point wetting Technology(EWOD)
Based on the principle of Electrowetting, the digital microfluidic control technology can realize the free movement of liquid droplets of nano to microliter volume on the two-dimensional plane of the chip using only voltage signals. Meanwhile, the on-chip droplets are used as carriers, which can carry various reaction samples such as biochemical reagents, cells, proteins, DNA and RNA, and realize the movement, separation, fusion and redistribution of samples using computer programs; at the same time, it is matched with modular functional components (temperature control , Magnetic attraction, fluorescence detection, etc.) to meet the needs of various experiments.
Thin film electronics manufacturing technology
Thin film transistor (TFT)
The TFT thin film transistor is the basic circuit unit that composes the active digital microfluidic chip. It can control the on or off of the droplet driving electrode. It is also the basic structure of the chip row and column electrode scanning circuit. Currently, mature TFT technologies mainly include a-Si (amorphous silicon), LTPS (low temperature polysilicon), and IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide). According to different chip characteristic requirements and manufacturing cost considerations, the corresponding TFT technology type can be selected reasonably.
Back plane
Back plane
Conventional chip is composed by stacking several functional layers (insulating film layers, metal film layers) to form a complex integrated circuit structure. Its realization relies on high-precision and mature semiconductor manufacturing processes. ACXEL's chip manufacturing process has extremely high compatibility with the manufacturing process of display backplanes in the FPD industry. Through the cooperative foundry model with display backplane manufacturers, with the help of mature large-scale TFT backplane mass production technology, combined with AOI automatic optical inspection and Laser Repair technology, we can achieve nearly 100% chip substrate yield.