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

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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

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

EECE 491C


Research Goals

  • 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

  • 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

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

    • 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

    • 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

    • 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

    1.0

    0.8

    0.6

    0.4

    0.2

    1

    3

    5

    7

    9

    11

    13

    pH

    EECE 491C


    Conclusions

    • 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

    EECE 491C


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