Today, the focus in microfluidic platforms for diagnostics is on the integration of several analysis steps toward sample-to-answer systems. One of the main challenges to integration is the requirement for serial valving to allow the sequential release of fluids in a temporally and spatially controlled manner. The advantages offered by centrifugal microfluidic platforms make them excellent candidates for integration of biological analysis steps, yet they are limited by the lack of robust serial valving technologies. This is especially true for the majority of centrifugal microfluidic devices that rely on hydrophilic surfaces, where few passive serial valving techniques function reliably. Building on the useful functionality of centrifugal microfluidic siphoning previously shown, a novel serial siphon valve is introduced that relies on multiple, inline siphons to provide for a better controlled, sequential release of fluids. The introduction of this novel concept is followed by an analytical analysis of the device. Proof-of-concept is also demonstrated, and examples are provided to illustrate the range of functionality of the serial siphon valve. The serial siphon is shown to be robust and reproducible, with variability caused by the dependence on contact angle, rotation velocity, and fluidic properties (viz., surface tension) significantly reduced compared to current microfluidic, centrifugal serial valving technologies.
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