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Sensors 2017, 17(10), 2401; doi:10.3390/s17102401

Lab-on-Chip, Surface-Enhanced Raman Analysis by Aerosol Jet Printing and Roll-to-Roll Hot Embossing

Light Technology Institute, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Engesserstraße 13, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
InnovationLab GmbH, Speyerer Straße 4, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
Institute of Microstructure Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Plasmon Resonance Sensing)
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Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) combines the high specificity of Raman scattering with high sensitivity due to an enhancement of the electromagnetic field by metallic nanostructures. However, the tyical fabrication methods of SERS substrates suffer from low throughput and therefore high costs. Furthermore, point-of-care applications require the investigation of liquid solutions and thus the integration of the SERS substrate in a microfluidic chip. We present a roll-to-roll fabrication approach for microfluidics with integrated, highly efficient, surface-enhanced Raman scattering structures. Microfluidic channels are formed using roll-to-roll hot embossing in polystyrene foil. Aerosol jet printing of a gold nanoparticle ink is utilized to manufacture highly efficient, homogeneous, and reproducible SERS structures. The modified channels are sealed with a solvent-free, roll-to-roll, thermal bonding process. In continuous flow measurements, these chips overcome time-consuming incubation protocols and the poor reproducibility of SERS experiments often caused by inhomogeneous drying of the analyte. In the present study, we explore the influence of the printing process on the homogeneity and the enhancement of the SERS structures. The feasibility of aerosol-jet-modified microfluidic channels for highly sensitive SERS detection is demonstrated by using solutions with different concentrations of Rhodamine 6G and adenosine. The printed areas provide homogeneous enhancement factors of ~4 × 106. Our work shows a way towards the low-cost production of tailor-made, SERS-enabled, label-free, lab-on- chip systems for bioanalysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy; aerosol jet printing; roll-to-roll; microfluidics; low-cost; bioanalysis surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy; aerosol jet printing; roll-to-roll; microfluidics; low-cost; bioanalysis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Habermehl, A.; Strobel, N.; Eckstein, R.; Bolse, N.; Mertens, A.; Hernandez-Sosa, G.; Eschenbaum, C.; Lemmer, U. Lab-on-Chip, Surface-Enhanced Raman Analysis by Aerosol Jet Printing and Roll-to-Roll Hot Embossing. Sensors 2017, 17, 2401.

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