Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Microfluidic Related Abstracts

14 Study on an Integrated Real-Time Sensor in Droplet-Based Microfluidics

Authors: Tien-Li Chang, Huang-Chi Huang, Zhao-Chi Chen, Wun-Yi Chen


The droplet-based microfluidic are used as micro-reactors for chemical and biological assays. Hence, the precise addition of reagents into the droplets is essential for this function in the scope of lab-on-a-chip applications. To obtain the characteristics (size, velocity, pressure, and frequency of production) of droplets, this study describes an integrated on-chip method of real-time signal detection. By controlling and manipulating the fluids, the flow behavior can be obtained in the droplet-based microfluidics. The detection method is used a type of infrared sensor. Through the varieties of droplets in the microfluidic devices, the real-time conditions of velocity and pressure are gained from the sensors. Here the microfluidic devices are fabricated by polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). To measure the droplets, the signal acquisition of sensor and LabVIEW program control must be established in the microchannel devices. The devices can generate the different size droplets where the flow rate of oil phase is fixed 30 μl/hr and the flow rates of water phase range are from 20 μl/hr to 80 μl/hr. The experimental results demonstrate that the sensors are able to measure the time difference of droplets under the different velocity at the voltage from 0 V to 2 V. Consequently, the droplets are measured the fastest speed of 1.6 mm/s and related flow behaviors that can be helpful to develop and integrate the practical microfluidic applications.

Keywords: Sensors, droplets, Microfluidic, single detection

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13 Characterization of the Dispersion Phenomenon in an Optical Biosensor

Authors: An-Shik Yang, Chin-Ting Kuo, Yung-Chun Yang, Wen-Hsin Hsieh, Chiang-Ho Cheng


Optical biosensors have become a powerful detection and analysis tool for wide-ranging applications in biomedical research, pharmaceuticals and environmental monitoring. This study carried out the computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-based simulations to explore the dispersion phenomenon in the microchannel of a optical biosensor. The predicted time sequences of concentration contours were utilized to better understand the dispersion development occurred in different geometric shapes of microchannels. The simulation results showed the surface concentrations at the sensing probe (with the best performance of a grating coupler) in respect of time to appraise the dispersion effect and therefore identify the design configurations resulting in minimum dispersion.

Keywords: Microfluidic, Dispersion, CFD simulations, optical waveguide sensors

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12 Microfluidic Synthesis of Chlorophyll Extraction–Loaded PCL Composite Microparticles Developed as Health Food

Authors: Ching-Ju Hsiao, Mao-Chen Huang, Pei-Fan Chen, Ruo-Yun Chung, Jiun-Hua Chou, Chih-Hui Yang, Keng-Shiang Huang, Jei-Fu Shaw


Chlorophyll has many benefits for human body. It is known to improve the health of the circulatory, digestive, immune and detoxification systems of the body. However, Chl can’t be preserved at the environment of high temperature and light exposure for a long time due to it is chemical structure is easily degradable. This characteristic causes that human body is difficult to absorb Chl effective components. In order to solve this problem, we utilize polycaprolactone (PCL) polymer encapsulation technology to increase the stability of Chl. In particular, we also established a microfluidic platform provide the control of composite beads diameter. The new composite beads is potential to be a health food. Result show that Chl effective components via the microfludic platform can be encapsulated effectively and still preserve its effective components.

Keywords: Microfluidic, chlorophyll, PCL, PVA

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11 Microfabrication of Three-Dimensional SU-8 Structures Using Positive SPR Photoresist as a Sacrificial Layer for Integration of Microfluidic Components on Biosensors

Authors: Su Yin Chiam, Qing Xin Zhang, Jaehoon Chung


Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) integrated circuits (ICs) have obtained increased attention in the biosensor community because CMOS technology provides cost-effective and high-performance signal processing at a mass-production level. In order to supply biological samples and reagents effectively to the sensing elements, there are increasing demands for seamless integration of microfluidic components on the fabricated CMOS wafers by post-processing. Although the PDMS microfluidic channels replicated from separately prepared silicon mold can be typically aligned and bonded onto the CMOS wafers, it remains challenging owing the inherently limited aligning accuracy ( > ± 10 μm) between the two layers. Here we present a new post-processing method to create three-dimensional microfluidic components using two different polarities of photoresists, an epoxy-based negative SU-8 photoresist and positive SPR220-7 photoresist. The positive photoresist serves as a sacrificial layer and the negative photoresist was utilized as a structural material to generate three-dimensional structures. Because both photoresists are patterned using a standard photolithography technology, the dimensions of the structures can be effectively controlled as well as the alignment accuracy, moreover, is dramatically improved (< ± 2 μm) and appropriately can be adopted as an alternative post-processing method. To validate the proposed processing method, we applied this technique to build cell-trapping structures. The SU8 photoresist was mainly used to generate structures and the SPR photoresist was used as a sacrificial layer to generate sub-channel in the SU8, allowing fluid to pass through. The sub-channel generated by etching the sacrificial layer works as a cell-capturing site. The well-controlled dimensions enabled single-cell capturing on each site and high-accuracy alignment made cells trapped exactly on the sensing units of CMOS biosensors.

Keywords: MEMS, Microfabrication, Microfluidic, SU-8

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10 Modeling of an Insulin Mircopump

Authors: Ahmed Slami, Med El Amine Brixi Nigassa, Nassima Labdelli, Sofiane Soulimane, Arnaud Pothier


Many people suffer from diabetes, a disease marked by abnormal levels of sugar in the blood; 285 million people have diabetes, 6.6% of the world adult population (in 2010), according to the International Diabetes Federation. Insulin medicament is invented to be injected into the body. Generally, the injection requires the patient to do it manually. However, in many cases he will be unable to inject the drug, saw that among the side effects of hyperglycemia is the weakness of the whole body. The researchers designed a medical device that injects insulin too autonomously by using micro-pumps. Many micro-pumps of concepts have been investigated during the last two decades for injecting molecules in blood or in the body. However, all these micro-pumps are intended for slow infusion of drug (injection of few microliters by minute). Now, the challenge is to develop micro-pumps for fast injections (1 microliter in 10 seconds) with accuracy of the order of microliter. Recently, studies have shown that only piezoelectric actuators can achieve this performance, knowing that few systems at the microscopic level were presented. These reasons lead us to design new smart microsystems injection drugs. Therefore, many technological advances are still to achieve the improvement of materials to their uses, while going through their characterization and modeling action mechanisms themselves. Moreover, it remains to study the integration of the piezoelectric micro-pump in the microfluidic platform features to explore and evaluate the performance of these new micro devices. In this work, we propose a new micro-pump model based on piezoelectric actuation with a new design. Here, we use a finite element model with Comsol software. Our device is composed of two pumping chambers, two diaphragms and two actuators (piezoelectric disks). The latter parts will apply a mechanical force on the membrane in a periodic manner. The membrane deformation allows the fluid pumping, the suction and discharge of the liquid. In this study, we present the modeling results as function as device geometry properties, films thickness, and materials properties. Here, we demonstrate that we can achieve fast injection. The results of these simulations will provide quantitative performance of our micro-pumps. Concern the spatial actuation, fluid rate and allows optimization of the fabrication process in terms of materials and integration steps.

Keywords: Microfluidic, piezoelectric, comsol software, micro-pump

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9 Simulation of Stretching and Fragmenting DNA by Microfluidic for Optimizing Microfluidic Devices

Authors: Shuyi Wu, Chuang Li, Quanshui Zheng, Luping Xu


Stretching and snipping DNA molecule by microfluidic has important application value in gene analysis by lab on a chip. Movement, deformation and fragmenting of DNA in microfluidic are typical fluid-solid coupling problems. An efficient and common simulation system for researching the movement, deformation and fragmenting of DNA by microfluidic has not been well developed. In our study, Brownian dynamics-finite element method (BD-FEM) is used to simulate the dynamic process of stretching and fragmenting DNA by contraction flow. The shape and parameters of micro-channels are changed to optimize the stretching and fragmenting properties of DNA. Our results indicate that strain rate, resulting from contraction microchannel, is the main control parameter for stretching and fragmenting DNA. There is good consistency between the simulation data and previous experimental result about the single DNA molecule behavior and averaged fragmenting properties in this study. BD-FEM method is an efficient calculating tool to research stretching and fragmenting behavior of single DNA molecule and optimize microfluidic devices for manipulating, stretching and fragmenting DNA.

Keywords: Microfluidic, Dna, optimize, fragmenting

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8 Two-Step Patterning of Microfluidic Structures in Paper by Laser Cutting and Wax Printing for Mass Fabrication of Biosensor

Authors: Bong Keun Kang, Sung Suk Oh, Jeong-Woo Sohn, Jong-Ryul Choi, Young Ho Kim


In this paper, we describe two-step micro-pattering by using laser cutting and wax printing. Wax printing is performed only on the bridges for hydrophobic barriers. We prepared 405nm blue-violet laser module and wax pencil module. And, this two modules combine x-y plot. The hollow microstructure formed by laser patterning define the hydrophilic flowing paths. However, bridges are essential to avoid the cutting area being the island. Through the support bridges, microfluidic solution spread out to the unnecessary areas. Chromatography blotting paper was purchased from Whatman. We used 20x20 cm and 46x57 cm of chromatography blotting paper. Axis moving speed of x-y plot was the main parameter of optimization. For aligning between the two patterning, the paper sheet was taped at the bottom. After the two-step patterning, temperature curing step was done at 110-130 °C. The resolution of the fabrication and the potential of the multiplex detection were investigated.

Keywords: Biosensor, Microfluidic, µPADs, mass-fabrication

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7 Fabrication of Glucose/O₂ Microfluidic Biofuel Cell with Double Layer of Electrodes

Authors: Haroon Khan, Chul Min Kim, Sung Yeol Kim, Sanket Goel, Prabhat K. Dwivedi, Ashutosh Sharma, Gyu Man Kim


Enzymatic biofuel cells (EBFCs) have drawn the attention of researchers due to its demanding application in medical implants. In EBFCs, electricity is produced with the help of redox enzymes. In this study, we report the fabrication of membraneless EBFC with new design of electrodes to overcome microchannel related limitations. The device consists of double layer of electrodes on both sides of Y-shaped microchannel to reduce the effect of oxygen depletion layer and diffusion of fuel and oxidant at the end of microchannel. Moreover, the length of microchannel was reduced by half keeping the same area of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) electrodes. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) stencils were used to pattern MWCNT electrodes on etched Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) glass. PDMS casting was used to fabricate microchannel of the device. Both anode and cathode were modified with glucose oxidase and laccase. Furthermore, these enzymes were covalently bound to carboxyl MWCNTs with the help of EDC/NHS. Glucose used as fuel was oxidized by glucose oxidase at anode while oxygen was reduced to water at the cathode side. The resulted devices were investigated with the help of polarization curves obtained from Chronopotentiometry technique by using potentiostat. From results, we conclude that the performance of double layer EBFC is improved 15 % as compared to single layer EBFC delivering maximum power density of 71.25 µW cm-2 at a cell potential of 0.3 V and current density of 250 µA cm-2 at micro channel height of 450-µm and flow rate of 25 ml hr-1. However, the new device was stable only for three days after which its power output was rapidly dropped by 75 %. This work demonstrates that the power output of membraneless EBFC is improved comparatively, but still efforts will be needed to make the device stable over long period of time.

Keywords: Microfluidic, Glucose, MWCNT, EBFC

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6 Electrode Engineering for On-Chip Liquid Driving by Using Electrokinetic Effect

Authors: Reza Hadjiaghaie Vafaie, Aysan Madanpasandi, Behrooz Zare Desari, Seyedmohammad Mousavi


High lamination in microchannel is one of the main challenges in on-chip components like micro total analyzer systems and lab-on-a-chips. Electro-osmotic force is highly effective in chip-scale. This research proposes a microfluidic-based micropump for low ionic strength solutions. Narrow microchannels are designed to generate an efficient electroosmotic flow near the walls. Microelectrodes are embedded in the lateral sides and actuated by low electric potential to generate pumping effect inside the channel. Based on the simulation study, the fluid velocity increases by increasing the electric potential amplitude. We achieve a net flow velocity of 100 µm/s, by applying +/- 2 V to the electrode structures. Our proposed low voltage design is of interest in conventional lab-on-a-chip applications.

Keywords: Integration, Microfluidic, electrokinetic, on-chip, fluid pumping

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5 Increase of Sensitivity in 3D Suspended Polymeric Microfluidic Platform through Lateral Misalignment

Authors: Ehsan Yazdanpanah Moghadam, Muthukumaran Packirisamy


In the present study, a design of the suspended polymeric microfluidic platform is introduced that is fabricated with three polymeric layers. Changing the microchannel plane to be perpendicular to microcantilever plane, drastically decreases moment of inertia in that direction. In addition, the platform is made of polymer (around five orders of magnitude less compared to silicon). It causes significant increase in the sensitivity of the cantilever deflection. Next, although the dimensions of this platform are constant, by misaligning the embedded microchannels laterally in the suspended microfluidic platform, the sensitivity can be highly increased. The investigation is studied on four fluids including water, seawater, milk, and blood for flow ranges from low rate of 5 to 70 µl/min to obtain the best design with the highest sensitivity. The best design in this study shows the sensitivity increases around 50% for water, seawater, milk, and blood at the flow rate of 70 µl/min by just misaligning the embedded microchannels in the suspended polymeric microfluidic platform.

Keywords: Biosensor, MEMS, Microfluidic, microresonator

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4 Finite Element Simulation for Preliminary Study on Microorganism Detection System

Authors: Muhammad Rosli Abdullah, Noor Hasmiza Harun


A microorganism detection system has a potential to be used with the advancement in a biosensor development. The detection system requires an optical sensing system, microfluidic device and biological reagent. Although, the biosensors are available in the market, a label free and a lab-on-chip approach will promote a flexible solution. As a preliminary study of microorganism detection, three mechanisms such as Total Internal Reflection (TIR), Micro Fluidic Channel (MFC) and magnetic-electric field propagation were study and simulated. The objective are to identify the TIR angle, MFC parabolic flow and the wavelength for the microorganism detection. The simulation result indicates that evanescent wave is achieved when TIR angle > 42°, the corner and centre of a parabolic velocity are 0.02 m/s and 0.06 m/s respectively, and a higher energy distribution of a perfect electromagnetic scattering with dipole resonance radiation occurs at 500 nm. This simulation is beneficial to determine the components of the microorganism detection system that does not rely on classical microbiological, immunological and genetic methods which are laborious, time-consuming procedures and confined to specialized laboratories with expensive instrumentation equipment.

Keywords: Microfluidic, Microorganism, total internal reflection, lab on chip

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3 Microfluidic Device for Real-Time Electrical Impedance Measurements of Biological Cells

Authors: Anil Koklu, Amin Mansoorifar, Ali Beskok


Dielectric spectroscopy (DS) is a noninvasive, label free technique for a long term real-time measurements of the impedance spectra of biological cells. DS enables characterization of cellular dielectric properties such as membrane capacitance and cytoplasmic conductivity. We have developed a lab-on-a-chip device that uses an electro-activated microwells array for loading, DS measurements, and unloading of biological cells. We utilized from dielectrophoresis (DEP) to capture target cells inside the wells and release them after DS measurement. DEP is a label-free technique that exploits differences among dielectric properties of the particles. In detail, DEP is the motion of polarizable particles suspended in an ionic solution and subjected to a spatially non-uniform external electric field. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first microfluidic chip that combines DEP and DS to analyze biological cells using electro-activated wells. Device performance is tested using two different cell lines of prostate cancer cells (RV122, PC-3). Impedance measurements were conducted at 0.2 V in the 10 kHz to 40 MHz range with 6 s time resolution. An equivalent circuit model was developed to extract the cell membrane capacitance and cell cytoplasmic conductivity from the impedance spectra. We report the time course of the variations in dielectric properties of PC-3 and RV122 cells suspended in low conductivity medium (LCB), which enhances dielectrophoretic and impedance responses, and their response to sudden pH change from a pH of 7.3 to a pH of 5.8. It is shown that microfluidic chip allowed online measurements of dielectric properties of prostate cancer cells and the assessment of the cellular level variations under external stimuli such as different buffer conductivity and pH. Based on these data, we intend to deploy the current device for single cell measurements by fabricating separately addressable N × N electrode platforms. Such a device will allow time-dependent dielectric response measurements for individual cells with the ability of selectively releasing them using negative-DEP and pressure driven flow.

Keywords: Microfabrication, Microfluidic, Lab on a Chip, AC electrokinetics, dielectric spectroscopy

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2 Engineering a Tumor Extracellular Matrix Towards an in vivo Mimicking 3D Tumor Microenvironment

Authors: Anna Cameron, Chunxia Zhao, Haofei Wang, Yun Liu, Guang Ze Yang


Since the first publication in 1775, cancer research has built a comprehensive understanding of how cellular components of the tumor niche promote disease development. However, only within the last decade has research begun to establish the impact of non-cellular components of the niche, particularly the extracellular matrix (ECM). The ECM, a three-dimensional scaffold that sustains the tumor microenvironment, plays a crucial role in disease progression. Cancer cells actively deregulate and remodel the ECM to establish a tumor-promoting environment. Recent work has highlighted the need to further our understanding of the complexity of this cancer-ECM relationship. In vitro models use hydrogels to mimic the ECM, as hydrogel matrices offer biological compatibility and stability needed for long term cell culture. However, natural hydrogels are being used in these models verbatim, without tuning their biophysical characteristics to achieve pathophysiological relevance, thus limiting their broad use within cancer research. The biophysical attributes of these gels dictate cancer cell proliferation, invasion, metastasis, and therapeutic response. Evaluating the three most widely used natural hydrogels, Matrigel, collagen, and agarose gel, the permeability, stiffness, and pore-size of each gel were measured and compared to the in vivo environment. The pore size of all three gels fell between 0.5-6 µm, which coincides with the 0.1-5 µm in vivo pore size found in the literature. However, the stiffness for hydrogels able to support cell culture ranged between 0.05 and 0.3 kPa, which falls outside the range of 0.3-20,000 kPa reported in the literature for an in vivo ECM. Permeability was ~100x greater than in vivo measurements, due in large part to the lack of cellular components which impede permeation. Though, these measurements prove important when assessing therapeutic particle delivery, as the ECM permeability decreased with increasing particle size, with 100 nm particles exhibiting a fifth of the permeability of 10 nm particles. This work explores ways of adjusting the biophysical characteristics of hydrogels by changing protein concentration and the trade-off, which occurs due to the interdependence of these factors. The global aim of this work is to produce a more pathophysiologically relevant model for each tumor type.

Keywords: Cancer, Microfluidic, Hydrogel, extracellular matrix

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1 Tumor Cell Detection, Isolation and Monitoring Using Bi-Layer Magnetic Microfluidic Chip

Authors: Amir Seyfoori, Ehsan Samiei, Mohsen Akbari


The use of microtechnology for detection and high yield isolation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) has shown enormous promise as an indication of clinical metastasis prognosis and cancer treatment monitoring. The Immunomagnetic assay has been also coupled to microtechnology to improve the selectivity and efficiency of the current methods of cancer biomarker isolation. In this way, generation and configuration of the local high gradient magnetic field play essential roles in such assay. Additionally, considering the intrinsic heterogeneity of cancer cells, real-time analysis of isolated cells is necessary to characterize their responses to therapy. Totally, on-chip isolation and monitoring of the specific tumor cells is considered as a pressing need in the way of modified cancer therapy. To address these challenges, we have developed a bi-layer magnetic-based microfluidic chip for enhanced CTC detection and capturing. Micromagnet arrays at the bottom layer of the chip were fabricated using a new method of magnetic nanoparticle paste deposition so that they were arranged at the center of the chain microchannel with the lowest fluid velocity zone. Breast cancer cells labelled with EPCAM-conjugated smart microgels were immobilized on the tip of the micromagnets with greater localized magnetic field and stronger cell-micromagnet interaction. Considering different magnetic nano-powder usage (MnFe2O4 & gamma-Fe2O3) and micromagnet shapes (ellipsoidal & arrow), the capture efficiency of the systems was adjusted while the higher CTC capture efficiency was acquired for MnFe2O4 arrow micromagnet as around 95.5%. As a proof of concept of on-chip tumor cell monitoring, magnetic smart microgels made of thermo-responsive poly N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid (PNIPAM-AA) composition were used for both purposes of targeted cell capturing as well as cell monitoring using antibody conjugation and fluorescent dye loading at the same time. In this regard, magnetic microgels were successfully used as cell tracker after isolation process so that by raising the temperature up to 37⁰ C, they released the contained dye and stained the targeted cell just after capturing. This microfluidic device was able to provide a platform for detection, isolation and efficient real-time analysis of specific CTCs in the liquid biopsy of breast cancer patients.

Keywords: Microfluidic, Circulating Tumor Cells, Immunomagnetic, Cell isolation

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