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?
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

1.0

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

1

3

5

7

9

11

13

pH

EECE 491C

conclusions
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

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