Functional hydrogel structures for autonomous flow control inside microfluidic channels
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Functional hydrogel structures for autonomous flow control inside microfluidic channels. D. J. Beebe, J. S. Moore, J. M. Bauer, Q. Yu, R. H. Liu, C. Devadoss & B-H Jo Presented by Gabriel Man EECE 491C. What are hydrogels?. Sounds like a weird “glue” or “blob” type of material

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Functional hydrogel structures for autonomous flow control inside microfluidic channels

Functional hydrogel structures for autonomous flow control inside microfluidic channels

D. J. Beebe, J. S. Moore, J. M. Bauer, Q. Yu, R. H. Liu, C. Devadoss & B-H Jo

Presented by Gabriel Man

EECE 491C


What are hydrogels
What are hydrogels? inside microfluidic channels

  • Sounds like a weird “glue” or “blob” type of material

  • Network of super-absorbent, natural or synthetic polymer chains

EECE 491C


Research goals
Research Goals inside microfluidic channels

  • Eliminate sensors and/or actuators requiring external power: self-regulated flow control

  • Simplify system construction and assembly by fabricating hydrogels in situ

EECE 491C


Applications
Applications inside microfluidic channels

  • Combined sensor and actuator (sense chemical environment in one channel, regulate flow in adjacent channel) – pH-sensitive throttle valve

  • Self-regulated drug delivery or biosensors featuring antigen-responsive hydrogels

EECE 491C


Fabrication techniques
Fabrication Techniques inside microfluidic channels

Combines:

  • Lithography

  • Photopolymerization

  • Microfluidics

  • Flow a mixture of monomers and a photoinitiator into microchannel

  • Place the photomask over the channel, expose to UV light

  • EECE 491C


    Fabrication techniques con t
    Fabrication Techniques Con’t inside microfluidic channels

    • Polymerization times can be < 20 seconds

    • Flush the channel with water to remove unpolymerized liquid

    250 μm

    EECE 491C

    Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) surrounded by E.Coli (1-2 μm in length)


    Results flow sorter
    Results: Flow Sorter inside microfluidic channels

    • Hydrogel objects reversibly expand and contract depending on pH of environment

    Inflow

    Outflow

    Outflow

    Time Response

    1.0

    0.0

    200

    400

    600

    800

    1000

    1200

    Time (seconds)

    EECE 491C

    300 μm


    Results throttle valve
    Results: Throttle Valve inside microfluidic channels

    • Pressure drop of 0.09 PSI to 0.72 PSI in top channel

    • Force associated with volumetric changes sufficient to deform membrane and control flow in lower channel

    EECE 491C


    Results another flow sorter
    Results: Another Flow Sorter inside microfluidic channels

    1.0

    0.8

    0.6

    0.4

    0.2

    1

    3

    5

    7

    9

    11

    13

    pH

    EECE 491C


    Conclusions
    Conclusions inside microfluidic channels

    • Approach can be “extended to build multifunctional microfluidic systems, allowing complex fluidic processes to be performed autonomously”

    • Eliminates microscale assembly and external electronics for sensing/actuation

    • Scaling down hydrogel structures to the micro-scale improves response time

    EECE 491C


    Critique summary
    Critique Summary inside microfluidic channels

    EECE 491C


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