|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 26|
Flow control valves comprise a silicon flexible membrane that deflects against a substrate, usually made of glass, containing pillars, an outlet hole, and anti-stiction features. However, there is a strong interest in using silicon instead of glass as substrate material, as it would simplify the process flow by allowing the use of well controlled anisotropic etching. Moreover, specific devices demanding a bending of the substrate would also benefit from the inherent outstanding mechanical strength of monocrystalline silicon. Unfortunately, direct Si-Si bonding is not easily achieved with highly structured wafers since residual stress may prevent the good adhesion between wafers. Using a thermoplastic polymer, such as parylene, as intermediate layer is not well adapted to this design as the wafer-to-wafer alignment is critical. An alternative anodic bonding method using an intermediate borosilicate layer has been successfully tested. This layer has been deposited onto the silicon substrate. The bonding recipe has been adapted to account for the presence of the SOI buried oxide and intermediate glass layer in order not to exceed the breakdown voltage. Flow control valves dedicated to infusion of viscous fluids at very high pressure have been made and characterized. The results are compared to previous data obtained using the standard anodic bonding method.
A bio-sensing method, based on the plasmonic property of gold nano-islands, has been developed for detection of exosomes in a clinical setting. The position of the gold plasmon band in the UV-Visible spectrum depends on the size and shape of gold nanoparticles as well as on the surrounding environment. By adsorbing various chemical entities, or binding them, the gold plasmon band will shift toward longer wavelengths and the shift is proportional to the concentration. Exosomes transport cargoes of molecules and genetic materials to proximal and distal cells. Presently, the standard method for their isolation and quantification from body fluids is by ultracentrifugation, not a practical method to be implemented in a clinical setting. Thus, a versatile and cutting-edge platform is required to selectively detect and isolate exosomes for further analysis at clinical level. The new sensing protocol, instead of antibodies, makes use of a specially synthesized polypeptide (Vn96), to capture and quantify the exosomes from different media, by binding the heat shock proteins from exosomes. The protocol has been established and optimized by using a glass substrate, in order to facilitate the next stage, namely the transfer of the protocol to a microfluidic environment. After each step of the protocol, the UV-Vis spectrum was recorded and the position of gold Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) band was measured. The sensing process was modelled, taking into account the characteristics of the nano-island structure, prepared by thermal convection and annealing. The optimal molar ratios of the most important chemical entities, involved in the detection of exosomes were calculated as well. Indeed, it was found that the results of the sensing process depend on the two major steps: the molar ratios of streptavidin to biotin-PEG-Vn96 and, the final step, the capture of exosomes by the biotin-PEG-Vn96 complex. The microfluidic device designed for sensing of exosomes consists of a glass substrate, sealed by a PDMS layer that contains the channel and a collecting chamber. In the device, the solutions of linker, cross-linker, etc., are pumped over the gold nano-islands and an Ocean Optics spectrometer is used to measure the position of the Au plasmon band at each step of the sensing. The experiments have shown that the shift of the Au LSPR band is proportional to the concentration of exosomes and, thereby, exosomes can be accurately quantified. An important advantage of the method is the ability to discriminate between exosomes having different origins.
A low-cost paper-based microfluidic device (PAD) for the multiplex electrochemical determination of glucose, uric acid, and dopamine in biological fluids was developed. Using wax printing, PAD containing a central zone, six channels, and six detection zones was fabricated, and the electrodes were printed on detection zones using pre-made electrodes template. For each analyte, two detection zones were used. The carbon working electrode was coated with chitosan-BSA (and enzymes for glucose and uric acid). To detect glucose and uric acid, enzymatic reactions were employed. These reactions involve enzyme-catalyzed redox reactions of the analytes and produce free electrons for electrochemical measurement. Calibration curves were linear (R² > 0.980) in the range of 0-80 mM for glucose, 0.09–0.9 mM for dopamine, and 0–50 mM for uric acid, respectively. Blood samples were successfully analyzed by the proposed method.
This paper sets to demonstrate a modeling of electrokinetic mixing employing electroosmotic stationary and time-dependent microchannel using alternate zeta patches on the lower surface of the micromixer in a lab on chip microfluidic device. Electroosmotic flow is amplified using different 2D and 3D model designs with alternate and geometric zeta potential values such as 25, 50, and 100 mV, respectively, to achieve high concentration mixing in the electrokinetically-driven microfluidic system. The enhancement of electrokinetic mixing is studied using Finite Element Modeling, and simulation workflow is accomplished with defined integral steps. It can be observed that the presence of alternate zeta patches can help inducing microvortex flows inside the channel, which in turn can improve mixing efficiency. Fluid flow and concentration fields are simulated by solving Navier-Stokes equation (implying Helmholtz-Smoluchowski slip velocity boundary condition) and Convection-Diffusion equation. The effect of the magnitude of zeta potential, the number of alternate zeta patches, etc. are analysed thoroughly. 2D simulation reveals that there is a cumulative increase in concentration mixing, whereas 3D simulation differs slightly with low zeta potential as that of the 2D model within the T-shaped micromixer for concentration 1 mol/m3 and 0 mol/m3, respectively. Moreover, 2D model results were compared with those of 3D to indicate the importance of the 3D model in a microfluidic design process.
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.
Red Blood Cells (RBCs) or erythrocytes tend to form chain-like aggregates under low shear rate called rouleaux. This is a reversible process and rouleaux disaggregate in high shear rates. Therefore, RBCs aggregation occurs in the microcirculation where low shear rates are present but does not occur under normal physiological conditions in large arteries. Numerical modeling of RBCs interactions is fundamental in analytical models of a blood flow in microcirculation. Population Balance Modeling (PBM) is particularly useful for studying problems where particles agglomerate and break in a two phase flow systems to find flow characteristics. In this method, the elementary particles lose their individual identity due to continuous destructions and recreations by break-up and agglomeration. The aim of this study is to find RBCs aggregation in a dynamic situation. Simplified PBM was used previously to find the aggregation rate on a static observation of the RBCs aggregation in a drop of blood under the microscope. To find aggregation rate in a dynamic situation we propose an experimental set up testing RBCs sedimentation. In this test, RBCs interact and aggregate to form rouleaux. In this configuration, disaggregation can be neglected due to low shear stress. A high-speed camera is used to acquire video-microscopic pictures of the process. The sizes of the aggregates and velocity of sedimentation are extracted using an image processing techniques. Based on the data collection from 5 healthy human blood samples, the aggregation rate was estimated as 2.7x103(±0.3 x103) 1/s.
A numerical model has been developed to investigate the thermally triggered release kinetics for drug delivery using phase change material as shell of microcapsules. Biocompatible material n-Eicosane is used as demonstration. PCM shell of microcapsule will remain in solid form after the drug is taken, so the drug will be encapsulated by the shell, and will not be released until the target body part of lesion is exposed to external heat source, which will thermally trigger the release kinetics, leading to solid-to-liquid phase change. The findings can lead to better understanding on the key effects influencing the phase change process for drug delivery applications. The facile approach to release drug from core/shell structure of microcapsule can be well integrated with organic solvent free fabrication of microcapsules, using double emulsion as template in microfluidic aqueous two phase system.
To mimic the natural circumstances of cell growth in an organism, we present three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds fabricated by microfluidics for cultivation. This work investigates the cellular behaviors of rat cardiomyocytes in gelatin 3D scaffolds compared to those on 2D control, such as proliferation, viability and morphology. We found that the scaffolds may induce skeletal differentiation of H9c2 cells.
We developed an effective microfluidic device for photoreactions with low reflectance and good heat conductance. The performance of this microfluidic device was tested by carrying out a photoreactive synthesis of benzopinacol and acetone from benzophenone and 2-propanol. The yield reached 36% with an irradiation time of 469.2 s and was improved by more than 30% when compared to the values obtained by the batch method. Therefore, the microfluidic device was found to be effective for improving the yields of photoreactions.
This paper presents a study on the effect of second-order slip on forced convection through a long isoflux heated or cooled planar microchannel. The fully developed solutions of flow and thermal fields are analytically obtained on the basis of the second-order Maxwell-Burnett slip and local heat flux boundary conditions. Results reveal that when the average flow velocity increases or the wall heat flux amount decreases, the role of thermal creep becomes more insignificant, while the effect of second-order slip becomes larger. The second-order term in the Deissler slip boundary condition is found to contribute a positive velocity slip and then to lead to a lower pressure drop as well as a lower temperature rise for the heated-wall case or to a higher temperature rise for the cooled-wall case. These findings are contrary to predictions made by the Karniadakis slip model.
In this work, we examine fluid mixing in a full three-stream mixing channel with longitudinal vortex generators (LVGs) built on the channel bottom by numerical simulation and experiment. The effects of the asymmetrical arrangement and the attack angle of the LVGs on fluid mixing are investigated. The results show that the micromixer with LVGs at a small asymmetry index (defined by the ratio of the distance from the center plane of the gap between the winglets to the center plane of the main channel to the width of the main channel) is superior to the micromixer with symmetric LVGs and that with LVGs at a large asymmetry index. The micromixer using five mixing modules of the LVGs with an attack angle between 16.5 degrees and 22.5 degrees can achieve excellent mixing over a wide range of Reynolds numbers. Here, we call a section of channel with two pairs of staggered asymmetrical LVGs a mixing module. Besides, the micromixer with LVGs at a small attack angle is more efficient than that with a larger attack angle when pressure losses are taken into account.
PDMS (Polydimethylsiloxane) polymer is a suitable material for biological and MEMS (Microelectromechanical systems) designers, because of its biocompatibility, transparency and high resistance under plasma treatment. PDMS round channel is always been of great interest due to its ability to confine the liquid with membrane type micro valves. In this paper we are presenting a very simple way to form round shapemicrofluidic channel, which is based on reflow of positive photoresist AZ® 40 XT. With this method, it is possible to obtain channel of different height simply by varying the spin coating parameters of photoresist.
Micro droplet formation is considered as a growing emerging area of research due to its wide-range application in chemistry as well as biology. The mechanism of micro droplet formation using two immiscible liquids running through a T-junction has been widely studied. We believe that the flow of these two immiscible phases can be of greater important factor that could have an impact on out-flow hydrodynamic behavior, the droplets generated and the size of the droplets. In this study, the type of the capillary tubes used also represents another important factor that can have an impact on the generation of micro droplets. The tygon capillary tubing with hydrophilic inner surface doesn't allow regular out-flows due to the fact that the continuous phase doesn't adhere to the wall of the capillary inner surface. Teflon capillary tubing, presents better wettability than tygon tubing, and allows to obtain steady and regular regimes of out-flow, and the micro droplets are homogeneoussize. The size of the droplets is directly dependent on the flows of the continuous and dispersed phases. Thus, as increasing the flow of the continuous phase, to flow of the dispersed phase stationary, the size of the drops decreases. Inversely, while increasing the flow of the dispersed phase, to flow of the continuous phase stationary, the size of the droplet increases.
Equipment miniaturisation offers several opportunities such as an increased surface-to-volume ratio and higher heat transfer coefficients. However, moving towards small-diameter channels demands extra attention to fouling, reliability and stable operation of the system. The present investigation explores possibilities to enhance the stability of the once-through micro evaporator by reducing its flow boiling induced pressure fluctuations. Experimental comparison shows that the measured reduction factor approaches a theoretically derived value. Pressure fluctuations are reduced by a factor of ten in the solid conical channel and a factor of 15 in the porous conical channel. This presumably leads to less backflow and therefore to a better flow control.
We have developed a microfluidic device system for the continuous producting of nanoparticles, and we have clarified the relationship between the mixing performance of reactors and the particle size. First, we evaluated the mixing performance of reactors by carring out the Villermaux–Dushman reaction and determined the experimental conditions for producing AgCl nanoparticles. Next, we produced AgCl nanoparticles and evaluated the mixing performance and the particle size. We found that as the mixing performance improves the size of produced particles decreases and the particle size distribution becomes sharper. We produced AgCl nanoparticles with a size of 86 nm using the microfluidic device that had the best mixing performance among the three reactors we tested in this study; the coefficient of variation (Cv) of the size distribution of the produced nanoparticles was 26.1%.
In this work, we perform numerical simulation of fluid mixing in a floor-grooved micro-channel with wavy sidewalls which may impose perturbation on the helical flow induced by the slanted grooves on the channel floor. The perturbation is caused by separation vortices in the recesses of the wavy-walled channel as the Reynolds number is large enough. The results show that the effects of the wavy sidewalls of the present micromixer on the enhancement of fluid mixing increase with the increase of Reynolds number. The degree of mixing increases with the increase of the corrugation angle, until the angle is greater than 45 degrees. Besides, the pumping pressure of the micromixer increases with the increase of the corrugation angle monotonically. Therefore, we would suggest setting the corrugation angle of the wavy sidewalls to be 45 degrees.
In this paper, a simple microfluidic device for monitoring algal cell behavior is proposed. An array of algal microwells is fabricated by PDMS soft-lithography using X-ray LIGA mold, placed on a glass substrate. Two layers of replicated PDMS and substrate are attached by oxygen plasma bonding, creating a microchannel for the microfluidic system. Algal cell are loaded into the microfluidic device, which provides positive charge on the bottom surface of wells. Algal cells, which are negative charged, can be attracted to the bottom of the wells via electrostatic interaction. By varying the concentration of algal cells in the loading suspension, it is possible to obtain wells with a single cell. Liquid medium for cells monitoring are flown continuously over the wells, providing nutrient and waste exchange between the well and the main flow. This device could lead to the uncovering of the quantitative biology of the algae, which is a key to effective and extensive algal utilizations in the field of biotechnology, food industry and bioenergy research and developments.