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Micromachines, Volume 8, Issue 11 (November 2017)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Continuous Concentration of Particles and Cancer Cell Line Using Cell Margination in a Groove-Based Channel
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 315; doi:10.3390/mi8110315
Received: 20 September 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
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Abstract
In the capillary venules, blood cells auto-separate with red blood cells aggregating near the centre of vessel and the nucleated cells marginating toward the wall of vessel. In this experiment, we used cell margination to help enrich the Jurkat cells via a groove-based
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In the capillary venules, blood cells auto-separate with red blood cells aggregating near the centre of vessel and the nucleated cells marginating toward the wall of vessel. In this experiment, we used cell margination to help enrich the Jurkat cells via a groove-based channel which provides a vertical expansion-contraction structure, wherein the red blood cells invade the grooves and push the Jurkat cells to the bottom of the channel. The secondary flows induced by the anisotropic grooves bring the Jurkat cells to the right sidewall. Rigid, 13-µm diameter polystyrene particles were spiked into the whole blood to verify the operating principle under various working conditions, and then tests were carried out using Jurkat cells (~15 µm). The performance of this device was quantified by analysing the cell distribution in a transverse direction at the outlet, and then measuring the cell concentration from the corresponding outlets. The results indicate that Jurkat cells were enriched by 22.3-fold with a recovery rate of 83.4%, thus proving that this microfluidic platform provides a gentle and passive way to isolate intact and viable Jurkat cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Repetition Rate Effects in Picosecond Laser Microprocessing of Aluminum and Steel in Water
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 316; doi:10.3390/mi8110316
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
Picosecond laser drilling was studied in the case of industrial steel and aluminum, which are difficult to microprocess by conventional methods. The dependence of hole morphology and dimensions on the pulse repetition rate and number of pulses in water and air were ascertained.
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Picosecond laser drilling was studied in the case of industrial steel and aluminum, which are difficult to microprocess by conventional methods. The dependence of hole morphology and dimensions on the pulse repetition rate and number of pulses in water and air were ascertained. For both materials, the diameter of the hole is larger in water than in air. In water, the diameter is larger at higher repetition rates than at lower ones, and increases with the number of pulses. In air, the hole diameter is not affected by the repetition rate, and remains constant from 100 to 100,000 pulses. Overall, material removal is more efficient in water than in air. The shape of the hole is generally more irregular in water, becoming more so as the number of pulses is increased. This is probably due to debris being trapped in the hole, since water flowing over the target surface cannot efficiently remove it. In aluminum, the depth of the hole is smaller at higher repetition rates. By scanning the beam over the aluminum target in water, the laser penetrates a 400-μm thick workpiece, generating a line with comparable widths at the entrance and exit surfaces. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Rethinking the Design of Low-Cost Point-of-Care Diagnostic Devices
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 317; doi:10.3390/mi8110317
Received: 3 October 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
Reducing the global diseases burden requires effective diagnosis and treatment. In the developing world, accurate diagnosis can be the most expensive and time-consuming aspect of health care. Healthcare cost can, however, be reduced by use of affordable rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). In the
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Reducing the global diseases burden requires effective diagnosis and treatment. In the developing world, accurate diagnosis can be the most expensive and time-consuming aspect of health care. Healthcare cost can, however, be reduced by use of affordable rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). In the developed world, low-cost RDTs are being developed in many research laboratories; however, they are not being equally adopted in the developing countries. This disconnect points to a gap in the design philosophy, where parameterization of design variables ignores the most critical component of the system, the point-of-use stakeholders (e.g., doctors, nurses and patients). Herein, we demonstrated that a general focus on reducing cost (i.e., “low-cost”), rather than efficiency and reliability is misguided by the assumption that poverty reduces the value individuals place on their well-being. A case study of clinicians in Kenya showed that “zero-cost” is a low-weight parameter for point-of-use stakeholders, while reliability and standardization are crucial. We therefore argue that a user-driven, value-addition systems-engineering approach is needed for the design of RDTs to enhance adoption and translation into the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paper-Based Transducers and Electronics)
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Open AccessArticle Microfluidical Microwave Reactor for Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 318; doi:10.3390/mi8110318
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 23 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
Microwave treatment can reduce the time of selected syntheses, for instance of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), from several hours to a few minutes. We propose a microfluidic structure for enhancing the rate of chemical reactions using microwave energy. This reactor is designed to control
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Microwave treatment can reduce the time of selected syntheses, for instance of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), from several hours to a few minutes. We propose a microfluidic structure for enhancing the rate of chemical reactions using microwave energy. This reactor is designed to control microwave energy with much higher accuracy than in standard devices. Thanks to this, the influence of microwave irradiation on the rate of chemical reactions can be investigated. The reactor consists of a transmission line surrounded by ground metallization. In order to deliver microwave energy to the fluid under test efficiently, matching networks are used and optimized by means of numerical methods. The monolithic device is fabricated in the low temperature co-fired ceramics (LTCC) technology. This material exhibits excellent microwave performance and is resistant to many chemical substances as well as high temperatures. Fabrication of the devices is described in detail. Measurements of microwave parameters are performed and differences between simulation and experiment results are discussed. Finally, the usefulness of the proposed device is proved in exemplary synthesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Microfluidics for Chemical Synthesis and Analysis)
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Open AccessArticle Topography Measurement of Large-Range Microstructures through Advanced Fourier-Transform Method and Phase Stitching in Scanning Broadband Light Interferometry
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 319; doi:10.3390/mi8110319
Received: 13 September 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
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Abstract
Scanning broadband light interferometry (SBLI) has been widely utilized in surface metrology due to its non-contact and high-accuracy method. In SBLI, phase evaluation through Fourier Transform (FT) is a prevalent and efficient technique, where the topography measurement can often be achieved through one
[...] Read more.
Scanning broadband light interferometry (SBLI) has been widely utilized in surface metrology due to its non-contact and high-accuracy method. In SBLI, phase evaluation through Fourier Transform (FT) is a prevalent and efficient technique, where the topography measurement can often be achieved through one interferogram. Nevertheless, the accuracy of the FT method would be significantly influenced by intensity modulation depth: “the lower the modulation of the pixel, the higher the error probability of its phase assignment”. If the structure has a large enough range along the z-axis, several areas in an individual interferogram would be weakly modulated due to the limited depth of focus (DOF). In this paper, we propose an advanced FT-based method when it comes to large-height structures. Spatial modulation depth is first calculated for each interferogram independently. After that, a binary control mask is reasonably constructed to identify the pixels that are valid for phase unwrapping. Then, a phase stitching method along the z-axis is carried out to conduct the large-height topography measurement within a giving field of view. The theoretical principle, simulation, and experimental validation are elaborated to demonstrate that the method can achieve an improved robustness for the reconstruction of large-range microstructures, the advantages of which include the elimination of stepping errors, the suppression of light fluctuations, and the freedom of a limited DOF. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Indoor Pedestrian Navigation Based on Conditional Random Field Algorithm
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 320; doi:10.3390/mi8110320
Received: 22 August 2017 / Revised: 19 October 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
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Abstract
Foot-mounted micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) inertial sensors based on pedestrian navigation can be used for indoor localization. We previously developed a novel zero-velocity detection algorithm based on the variation in speed over a gait cycle, which can be used to correct positional errors. However,
[...] Read more.
Foot-mounted micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) inertial sensors based on pedestrian navigation can be used for indoor localization. We previously developed a novel zero-velocity detection algorithm based on the variation in speed over a gait cycle, which can be used to correct positional errors. However, the accumulation of heading errors cannot be corrected and thus, the system suffers from considerable drift over time. In this paper, we propose a map-matching technique based on conditional random fields (CRFs). Observations are chosen as positions from the inertial navigation system (INS), with the length between two consecutive observations being the same. This is different from elsewhere in the literature where observations are chosen based on step length. Thus, only four states are used for each observation and only one feature function is employed based on the heading of the two positions. All these techniques can reduce the complexity of the algorithm. Finally, a feedback structure is employed in a sliding window to increase the accuracy of the algorithm. Experiments were conducted in two sites with a total of over 450 m in travelled distance and the results show that the algorithm can efficiently improve the long-term accuracy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Acousto-Plasmonic Sensing Assisted by Nonlinear Optical Interactions in Bimetallic Au-Pt Nanoparticles
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 321; doi:10.3390/mi8110321
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 26 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 28 October 2017
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Abstract
A strong influence of mechanical action in nonlinear optical transmittance experiments with bimetallic nanoparticles integrated by gold and platinum was observed. The nanostructured samples were synthesized by a sol-gel method and contained in an ethanol suspension. UV-VIS spectroscopy evaluations, Transmission electron microscopy studies
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A strong influence of mechanical action in nonlinear optical transmittance experiments with bimetallic nanoparticles integrated by gold and platinum was observed. The nanostructured samples were synthesized by a sol-gel method and contained in an ethanol suspension. UV-VIS spectroscopy evaluations, Transmission electron microscopy studies and input-output laser experiments were characterized. A two-photon absorption effect was induced by nanosecond pulses at 532 nm wavelength with an important contribution from the plasmonic response of the nanomaterials. All-optical identification of acoustical waves was remarkably improved by optical nonlinearities. High sensitivity for instrumentation of mechano-optical signals sensing particular fluids was demonstrated by using a variable carbon dioxide incorporation to the system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Microdevices and Micromachines)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation of Production Limits in Manufacturing Microstructured Surfaces Using Micro Coining
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 322; doi:10.3390/mi8110322
Received: 27 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
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Abstract
The application of microstructured surfaces is one possible method to reduce friction in lubricated contacts between components with relative movement. Due to this, the energy efficiency and the occurring wear during the operating time of the final products could be decreased. To manufacture
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The application of microstructured surfaces is one possible method to reduce friction in lubricated contacts between components with relative movement. Due to this, the energy efficiency and the occurring wear during the operating time of the final products could be decreased. To manufacture structured surfaces economically, a micro coining process was analyzed within this study. This process offers the potential for integration into the established manufacturing processes of different final products, such as tappets used in a valve train. Thus, large-scale production is enabled. To detect the manufacturing limits of the micro coining process, the manufacturing of the coining tools as well as the coining process needs to be investigated. Within this study, the achievable accuracy and the failure of cuboid and cylindrical microstructure elements with selected dimensions were analyzed. For both types of microstructures, the minimal lateral dimensions were detected. Besides the achievable accuracy, correlations between different geometrical dimensions of the micro elements are presented. Additionally, the aspect ratio is detected as the main cause of failure for the micro coining process. In general, the suitability of a coining process for manufacturing microstructured surfaces is proven. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication of Hexagonal Microlens Arrays on Single-Crystal Silicon Using the Tool-Servo Driven Segment Turning Method
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 323; doi:10.3390/mi8110323
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
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Abstract
Single-crystal silicon microlens arrays are increasingly required in advanced infrared optics. In this study, the authors attempted to fabricate hexagonal microlens arrays, which offer high optical efficiency, on a single-crystal silicon wafer using diamond turning. A tool-servo driven segment turning method was proposed
[...] Read more.
Single-crystal silicon microlens arrays are increasingly required in advanced infrared optics. In this study, the authors attempted to fabricate hexagonal microlens arrays, which offer high optical efficiency, on a single-crystal silicon wafer using diamond turning. A tool-servo driven segment turning method was proposed to reduce the dynamic error of the machine tool induced by lenslet edges during lens array cutting. From the results of both cutting experiments and theoretical analysis of the machine tool dynamic error, it was demonstrated that the segment turning method reduced significantly the dynamic errors and led to high form accuracy. As a result, sharp edges among the lenslets were generated precisely and microlens arrays with a form error of ~300 nm peak-to-valley and surface roughness of ~5 nmSa, which meets the requirements of infrared optical systems, were successfully fabricated. The subsurface damage, such as the amorphization of silicon, caused by machining was also reduced. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Numerical Research of Herringbone Passive Mixer at Low Reynold Number Regime
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 325; doi:10.3390/mi8110325
Received: 28 September 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 29 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
Passive mixing based on microfluidics has won its popularity for its unique advantage, including easier operation, more efficient mixing performance and higher access to high integrity. The time-scale and performance of mixing process are usually characterized by mixing quality, which has been remarkably
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Passive mixing based on microfluidics has won its popularity for its unique advantage, including easier operation, more efficient mixing performance and higher access to high integrity. The time-scale and performance of mixing process are usually characterized by mixing quality, which has been remarkably improved due to the introduction of chaos theory into passive micro mixers. In this paper, we focus on the research of mixing phenomenon at extremely low Reynold number (Re) regime in a chaotic herringbone mixer. Three-dimensional (3D) modeling has been carried out using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method, to simulate the chaos-enhanced advection diffusion process. Static mixing processes using pressure driven and electric field driven modes are investigated. Based on the simulation results, the effects of flow field and herringbone pattern are theoretically studied and compared. Both in pressure driven flow and electro-osmotic flow (EOF), the mixing performance is improved with a lower flow rate. Moreover, it is noted that with a same total flow rate, mixing performance is better in EOF than pressure driven flow, which is mainly due to the difference in flow field distribution of pressure driven flow and EOF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Passive Micromixers)
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Open AccessArticle An Enhanced Robust Control Algorithm Based on CNF and ISM for the MEMS Micromirror against Input Saturation and Disturbance
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 326; doi:10.3390/mi8110326
Received: 14 September 2017 / Revised: 24 October 2017 / Accepted: 2 November 2017 / Published: 3 November 2017
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Abstract
Input saturation is a widespread phenomenon in the field of instrumentation, and is harmful to performance and robustness. In this paper, a control design framework based on composite nonlinear feedback (CNF) and integral sliding mode (ISM) technique is proposed for a MEMS micromirror
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Input saturation is a widespread phenomenon in the field of instrumentation, and is harmful to performance and robustness. In this paper, a control design framework based on composite nonlinear feedback (CNF) and integral sliding mode (ISM) technique is proposed for a MEMS micromirror to improve its performance under input saturation. To make the framework more effective, some essential improvements are supplied. With the application of the proposed design framework, the micromirror under input saturation and time-varying disturbances can achieve precise positioning with satisfactory transient performance compared with the open-loop performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS Mirrors)
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Open AccessArticle Electrode Cooling Effect on Out-Of-Phase Electrothermal Streaming in Rotating Electric Fields
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 327; doi:10.3390/mi8110327
Received: 23 September 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 4 November 2017 / Published: 6 November 2017
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Abstract
In this work, we focus on investigating electrothermal flow in rotating electric fields (ROT-ETF), with primary attention paid to the horizontal traveling-wave electrothermal (TWET) vortex induced at the center of the electric field. The frequency-dependent flow profiles in the microdevice are analyzed using
[...] Read more.
In this work, we focus on investigating electrothermal flow in rotating electric fields (ROT-ETF), with primary attention paid to the horizontal traveling-wave electrothermal (TWET) vortex induced at the center of the electric field. The frequency-dependent flow profiles in the microdevice are analyzed using different heat transfer models. Accordingly, we address in particular the importance of electrode cooling in ROT-ETF as metal electrodes of high thermal conductivity, while substrate material of low heat dissipation capability is employed to develop such microfluidic chips. Under this circumstance, cooling of electrode array due to external natural convection on millimeter-scale electrode pads for external wire connection occurs and makes the internal temperature maxima shift from the electrode plane to a bit of distance right above the cross-shaped interelectrode gaps, giving rise to reversal of flow rotation from a typical repulsion-type to attraction-type induction vortex, which is in good accordance with our experimental observations of co-field TWET streaming at frequencies in the order of reciprocal charge relaxation time of the bulk fluid. These results point out a way to make a correct interpretation of out-of-phase electrothermal streaming behavior, which holds great potential for handing high-conductivity analytes in modern microfluidic systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-Chip Electrokinetics, Volume II)
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Open AccessArticle Rapid Prototyping of Plastic Lab-on-a-Chip by Femtosecond Laser Micromachining and Removable Insert Microinjection Molding
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 328; doi:10.3390/mi8110328
Received: 10 October 2017 / Revised: 31 October 2017 / Accepted: 3 November 2017 / Published: 7 November 2017
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Abstract
We have introduced a new hybrid fabrication method for lab-on-a-chip devices through the combination of femtosecond laser micromachining and removable insert micro-injection molding. This method is particularly suited for the fast prototyping of new devices, while maintaining a competitive low cost. To demonstrate
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We have introduced a new hybrid fabrication method for lab-on-a-chip devices through the combination of femtosecond laser micromachining and removable insert micro-injection molding. This method is particularly suited for the fast prototyping of new devices, while maintaining a competitive low cost. To demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, we designed, fabricated, and tested a completely integrated flow cytometer coupled to a portable media device. The system operation was tested with fluorescent plastic micro-bead solutions ranging from 100 beads/μL to 500 beads/μL. We demonstrated that this hybrid lab-on-a-chip fabrication technology is suitable for producing low-cost and portable biological microsystems and for effectively bridging the gap between new device concepts and their mass production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrafast Laser Fabrication for Lab-on-a-Chip)
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Open AccessArticle Label-Free Monitoring of Diffusion in Microfluidics
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 329; doi:10.3390/mi8110329
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 6 November 2017 / Published: 9 November 2017
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Abstract
Label-free, real-time detection of concentration gradients is demonstrated in a microfluidic H-filter, using an integrated photonic crystal slab sensor to monitor sample refractive index with spatial resolution. The recorded diffusion profiles reveal root-mean-square diffusion lengths for non-fluorescing and non-absorbing molecules, both small (glucose,
[...] Read more.
Label-free, real-time detection of concentration gradients is demonstrated in a microfluidic H-filter, using an integrated photonic crystal slab sensor to monitor sample refractive index with spatial resolution. The recorded diffusion profiles reveal root-mean-square diffusion lengths for non-fluorescing and non-absorbing molecules, both small (glucose, 180 Da) and large (bovine serum albumin, 67 kDa). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optofluidics: From Fundamental Research to Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Asymmetric Drain Extension Dual-kk Trigate Underlap FinFET Based on RF/Analog Circuit
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 330; doi:10.3390/mi8110330
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 1 November 2017 / Published: 9 November 2017
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Abstract
Among multi-gate field effect transistor (FET) structures, FinFET has better short channel control and ease of manufacturability when compared to other conventional bulk devices. The radio frequency (RF) performance of FinFET is affected by gate-controlled parameters such as transconductance, output conductance, and total
[...] Read more.
Among multi-gate field effect transistor (FET) structures, FinFET has better short channel control and ease of manufacturability when compared to other conventional bulk devices. The radio frequency (RF) performance of FinFET is affected by gate-controlled parameters such as transconductance, output conductance, and total gate capacitance. In recent years, high-k spacer dielectric materials for manufacturing nanoscale devices are being widely explored because of their better electrostatic control and being less affected by short channel effects (SCEs). In this paper, we aim to explore the potential benefits of using different Dual-k spacers on source and drain, respectively: (AsymD-kk) trigate FinFET structure to improve the analog/RF figure of merit (FOM) for low-power operation at 14 nm gate length. It has been observed from the results that the AsymD-kk FinFET structure improves the coupling of the gate fringe field to the underlap region towards the source and drain side, improving the transconductance (gm) and output conductance (gds) at the cost of an increase in Miller capacitance. Furthermore, to reduce the drain field influence on the channel region, we also studied the effect of asymmetric drain extension length on a Dual-kk FinFET structure. It can be observed that the new asymmetric drain extension structures significantly improve the cutoff frequency (fT) and maximum oscillation frequency (fmax) given the significant reduction of inner fringe capacitance towards drain side due to the shifting of the drain extension’s doping concentration away from the gate edge. Therefore, the asymmetric drain extension Dual-kk trigate FinFET (AsymD-kkDE) is a new structure that combines different Dual-k spacers on the source and drain and asymmetric drain extension on a single silicon on insulator (SOI) platform to enhance the almost all analog/RF FOM. The proposed structure is verified by technology computer-aided design (TCAD) simulations with varying device physical parameters such as fin height, fin width, aspect ratio, spacer width, spacer material, etc. From comprehensive 3D device simulation, we have demonstrated that the proposed device is superior in performance to a conventional trigate FinFET and can be used to design low-power digital circuits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Microfluidic Droplet Extraction by Hydrophilic Membrane
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 331; doi:10.3390/mi8110331
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 9 November 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 16 November 2017
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Abstract
Droplet-based microfluidics are capable of transporting very small amounts of fluid over long distances. This characteristic may be applied to conventional fluid delivery using needles if droplets can be reliably expelled from a microfluidic channel. In this paper, we demonstrate a system for
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Droplet-based microfluidics are capable of transporting very small amounts of fluid over long distances. This characteristic may be applied to conventional fluid delivery using needles if droplets can be reliably expelled from a microfluidic channel. In this paper, we demonstrate a system for the extraction of water droplets from an oil-phase in a polymer microfluidic device. A hydrophilic membrane with a strong preference for water over oil is integrated into a droplet microfluidic system and observed to allow the passage of the transported aqueous phase droplets while blocking the continuous phase. The oil breakthrough pressure of the membrane was observed to be 250 ± 20 kPa, a much greater pressure than anywhere within the microfluidic channel, thereby eliminating the possibility that oil will leak from the microchannel, a critical parameter if droplet transport is to be used in needle-based drug delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Lab-on-a-Chip)
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Open AccessArticle Thin-Walled Double Side Freeform Component Milling Process with Paraffin Filling Method
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 332; doi:10.3390/mi8110332 (registering DOI)
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 16 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
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Abstract
The machining of thin-walled double side freeform component has many challenges in terms of the geometrical complexity, high-requirement accuracy, and especially low stiffness. This paper surveys the filling method during the milling processes of thin-walled double side freeform component. Firstly, the DEFORM-3D was
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The machining of thin-walled double side freeform component has many challenges in terms of the geometrical complexity, high-requirement accuracy, and especially low stiffness. This paper surveys the filling method during the milling processes of thin-walled double side freeform component. Firstly, the DEFORM-3D was used to analyze and calculate the surface residual stress which provides a theoretical basis for parameters selection of the rough milling process, and the optimal milling parameters were obtained by the Taguchi method. Residual stress measurements have been carried out to verify the simulation results. The results show the difference between simulation and experimental data is less than 15%. Secondly, semi-finishing parameters and finishing process parameters were determined by equal error step length and step distance method. Thirdly, two machining experiments were conducted with and without paraffin filling, and the accuracy was measured by coordinate measurement machine. The results shown that the PV values are 25.16 μm and 20.34 μm for the concave and convex surface, and the corresponding RMS values are 13.75 μm and 11.93 μm in the first milling experiment. The PV values have improved to 8.53 μm and 7.12 μm, and RMS values have improved to 2.45 μm and 3.05 μm by the filled method applied. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication and Actuation of an Electrowetting Droplet Array on a Flexible Substrate
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 334; doi:10.3390/mi8110334
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 15 November 2017 / Published: 18 November 2017
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Abstract
Electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWOD) is a fast, well-established actuation method for a variety of applications, from microfluidics to electrowetting displays to electrowetting lenses. We therefore seek to develop a robust, scalable fabrication method for the realization of EWOD on a flexible polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate in
[...] Read more.
Electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWOD) is a fast, well-established actuation method for a variety of applications, from microfluidics to electrowetting displays to electrowetting lenses. We therefore seek to develop a robust, scalable fabrication method for the realization of EWOD on a flexible polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrate in order to increase the range of possible applications. We fabricated a 5 × 5 array of individually controlled electrowetting cells to manipulate silicone oil droplets via EWOD. The fabrication process utilized exclusively flexible materials to improve the robustness of the overall device, and processing methods were adapted to accommodate the particular challenges posed by flexible materials. Simulation of the EWOD devices was conducted using ANSYS Fluent and showed the change in contact angle in response to voltage applied. Fabricated devices were also tested, with actuation of the oil droplet observed with up to 100 V (RMS) AC applied across underlying electrodes. We demonstrated fabrication of a fully flexible array and verified actuation to center droplets over the electrodes. This work may be expanded to address more specific flexible applications for EWOD. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Microfluidic Device for Culturing an Encapsulated Ovarian Follicle
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 335; doi:10.3390/mi8110335
Received: 4 October 2017 / Revised: 16 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 20 November 2017
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Abstract
Microfluidic chips have been proved effective in mimicking different organs of human body. Simulating human ovarian follicles by microfluidic device will be useful in exploring the mechanism of folliculogenesis and related diseases. In this paper, a microfluidic chip was designed to culture a
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Microfluidic chips have been proved effective in mimicking different organs of human body. Simulating human ovarian follicles by microfluidic device will be useful in exploring the mechanism of folliculogenesis and related diseases. In this paper, a microfluidic chip was designed to culture a single human pre-antral follicle. Ovarian follicles were first encapsulated in 3D calcium alginate hydrogel beads and then cultured on chip and in dish under same conditions. The diameters of cultured ovarian follicles were measured, and the same amount of medium was collected from microfluidic device or dish per two days for measuring the estradiol and androgen concentrations. The results confirmed the successful growth of ovarian follicles on chip with their hormonal trends and diameters increase, which were similar to ovarian follicles cultured in dish. It is concluded that this microfluidic chip can be used to culture a single human ovarian follicle, which provides a useful tool to explore the hormonal changes and their interactions during folliculogenesis. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Cell Migration Research Based on Organ-on-Chip-Related Approaches
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 324; doi:10.3390/mi8110324
Received: 30 September 2017 / Revised: 28 October 2017 / Accepted: 28 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
Microfluidic devices have been widely used for cell migration research over the last two decades, owing to their attractive features in cellular microenvironment control and quantitative single-cell migration analysis. However, the majority of the microfluidic cell migration studies have focused on single cell
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Microfluidic devices have been widely used for cell migration research over the last two decades, owing to their attractive features in cellular microenvironment control and quantitative single-cell migration analysis. However, the majority of the microfluidic cell migration studies have focused on single cell types and have configured microenvironments that are greatly simplified compared with the in-vivo conditions they aspire to model. In addition, although cell migration is considered an important target for disease diagnosis and therapeutics, very few microfluidic cell migration studies involved clinical samples from patients. Therefore, more sophisticated microfluidic systems are required to model the complex in-vivo microenvironment at the tissue or organ level for cell migration studies and to explore cell migration-related clinical applications. Research in this direction that employs organ-on-chip-related approaches for cell migration analysis has been increasingly reported in recent years. In this paper, we briefly introduce the general background of cell migration and organ-on-chip research, followed by a detailed review of specific cell migration studies using organ-on-chip-related approaches, and conclude by discussing our perspectives of the challenges, opportunities and future directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Microfluidics for Chemical Synthesis and Analysis)
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Open AccessReview Light-Activated Metal Oxide Gas Sensors: A Review
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 333; doi:10.3390/mi8110333
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 8 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 November 2017 / Published: 18 November 2017
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Abstract
Conductometric gas sensors facilitated by photons have been investigated for decades. Light illumination may enhance device attributes including operational temperature, sensing sensitivity and selectivity. This paper aims to provide an overview on the progress of light-activated gas sensors, with a specific focus on
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Conductometric gas sensors facilitated by photons have been investigated for decades. Light illumination may enhance device attributes including operational temperature, sensing sensitivity and selectivity. This paper aims to provide an overview on the progress of light-activated gas sensors, with a specific focus on sensors based on metal oxides. The material systems that have been studied include pure metal oxides, heterostructures of semiconductor-metal oxides and metal-metal oxides, and metal oxides with dopant. Other reported works on the use of different nanostructures such as one-dimensional and porous nanostructures, study of sensing mechanisms and the interplay between various factors are also summarized. Possible directions for further improvement of sensing properties, through optimizing the size of nanomaterials, film thickness, light intensity and wavelength are discussed. Finally, we point out that the main challenge faced by light-activated gas sensors is their low optical response, and we have analyzed the feasibility of using localized surface plasmon resonance to solve this drawback. This article should offer readers some key and instructive insights into the current and future development of light-activated gas sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based Sensors)
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Open AccessReview Coalescence Processes of Droplets and Liquid Marbles
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 336; doi:10.3390/mi8110336
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 18 November 2017 / Published: 20 November 2017
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Abstract
The coalescence process of droplets and, more recently, of liquid marbles, has become one of the most essential manipulation schemes in digital microfluidics. This process is indispensable for realising microfluidic functions such as mixing and reactions at microscale. This paper reviews previous studies
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The coalescence process of droplets and, more recently, of liquid marbles, has become one of the most essential manipulation schemes in digital microfluidics. This process is indispensable for realising microfluidic functions such as mixing and reactions at microscale. This paper reviews previous studies on droplet coalescence, paying particular attention to the coalescence of liquid marbles. Four coalescence systems have been reviewed, namely, the coalescence of two droplets freely suspended in a fluid; the coalescence of two sessile droplets on a solid substrate; the coalescence of a falling droplet and a sessile droplet on a solid substrate; and liquid marble coalescence. The review is presented according to the dynamic behaviors, physical mechanisms and experimental parameters of the coalescence process. It also provides a systematic overview of how the coalescence process of droplets and liquid marbles could be induced and manipulated using external energy. In addition, the practical applications of liquid marble coalescence as a novel microreactor are highlighted. Finally, future perspectives on the investigation of the coalescence process of liquid marbles are proposed. This review aims to facilitate better understanding of the coalescence of droplets and of liquid marbles as well as to shed new insight on future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Droplet Microfluidics: Techniques and Technologies, Volume II)
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Open AccessReview Recent Progress toward Microfluidic Quality Control Testing of Radiopharmaceuticals
Micromachines 2017, 8(11), 337; doi:10.3390/mi8110337 (registering DOI)
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 8 November 2017 / Accepted: 18 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
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Abstract
Radiopharmaceuticals labeled with short-lived positron-emitting or gamma-emitting isotopes are injected into patients just prior to performing positron emission tomography (PET) or single photon emission tomography (SPECT) scans, respectively. These imaging modalities are widely used in clinical care, as well as in the development
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Radiopharmaceuticals labeled with short-lived positron-emitting or gamma-emitting isotopes are injected into patients just prior to performing positron emission tomography (PET) or single photon emission tomography (SPECT) scans, respectively. These imaging modalities are widely used in clinical care, as well as in the development and evaluation of new therapies in clinical research. Prior to injection, these radiopharmaceuticals (tracers) must undergo quality control (QC) testing to ensure product purity, identity, and safety for human use. Quality tests can be broadly categorized as (i) pharmaceutical tests, needed to ensure molecular identity, physiological compatibility and that no microbiological, pyrogenic, chemical, or particulate contamination is present in the final preparation; and (ii) radioactive tests, needed to ensure proper dosing and that there are no radiochemical and radionuclidic impurities that could interfere with the biodistribution or imaging. Performing the required QC tests is cumbersome and time-consuming, and requires an array of expensive analytical chemistry equipment and significant dedicated lab space. Calibrations, day of use tests, and documentation create an additional burden. Furthermore, in contrast to ordinary pharmaceuticals, each batch of short-lived radiopharmaceuticals must be manufactured and tested within a short period of time to avoid significant losses due to radioactive decay. To meet these challenges, several efforts are underway to develop integrated QC testing instruments that automatically perform and document all of the required tests. More recently, microfluidic quality control systems have been gaining increasing attention due to vastly reduced sample and reagent consumption, shorter analysis times, higher detection sensitivity, increased multiplexing, and reduced instrumentation size. In this review, we describe each of the required QC tests and conventional testing methods, followed by a discussion of efforts to directly miniaturize the test or examples in the literature that could be implemented for miniaturized QC testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Microfluidics for Chemical Synthesis and Analysis)
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