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LLNL has developed a new technology that provides a method for near-instantaneous heating of aqueous samples in microfluidic devices. The technology relates to a heating method that employs microwave energy absorption from a coincident low power Co-planar waveguide or microwave microstrip transmission line embedded in a microfluidic channel to instantaneously heat samples. The method heat samples in a focused area within a microfluidic channel on miniaturized chips. Aqueous solution microwave heating allows extremely fast heat transfer for both heating and cooling. This method/device provides a major advantage over current heating methods such as joule-heating from trace resistors which are time-consuming and provide an associated whole device heat build-up. The LLNL microwave heating method provides focused-area heating on an instantaneous time scale. It also provides cost incentive by cutting processing times by an order of magnitude. This method is applicable to on-chip processes such as PCR, in vitro protein translation, immunoassay analysis, etc.

US Patent 10,123,380 “Instantaneous in-line heating of samples on a monolithic microwave integrated circuit microfluidic device” (LLNL internal case # IL-11981).