Micromachines2015, 6(10), 1469-1482; doi:10.3390/mi6101431 - published 30 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We describe the design, fabrication and use of a dual-layered microfluidic device for ultrahigh-throughput droplet trapping, analysis, and recovery using droplet buoyancy. To demonstrate the utility of this device for digital quantification of analytes, we quantify the number of droplets, which contain a β-galactosidase-conjugated bead among more than 100,000 immobilized droplets. In addition, we demonstrate that this device can be used for droplet clustering and real-time analysis by clustering several droplets together into microwells and monitoring diffusion of fluorescein, a product of the enzymatic reaction of β-galactosidase and its fluorogenic substrate FDG, between droplets.
Micromachines2015, 6(10), 1459-1468; doi:10.3390/mi6101430 - published 30 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In microfluidics, electric fields are widely used to assist the generation and the manipulation of droplets or jets. However, uncontrolled electric field can disrupt the operation of an integrated microfluidic system, for instance, through undesired coalescence of droplets, undesired changes in the wettability of the channel wall or unexpected death of cells. Therefore, an approach to control the distribution of electric fields inside microfluidic channels is needed. Inspired by the electro-magnetic shielding effect in electrical and radiation systems, we demonstrate the shielding of electric fields by incorporating 3D metallic coils in microfluidic devices. Using the degree of coalescence of emulsion drops as an indicator, we have shown that electric fields decrease dramatically in micro-channels surrounded by these conductive metallic coils both experimentally and numerically. Our work illustrates an approach to distribute electric fields in integrated microfluidic networks by selectively installing metallic coils or electrodes, and represents a significant step towards large-scale electro-microfluidic systems.
Micromachines2015, 6(10), 1445-1458; doi:10.3390/mi6101429 - published 29 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A surface modification method for bonded polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microchannels is presented herein. Polymerization of acrylic acid was performed on the surface of a microchannel using an inline atmospheric pressure dielectric barrier microplasma technique. The surface treatment changes the wettability of the microchannel from hydrophobic to hydrophilic. This is a challenging task due to the fast hydrophobic recovery of the PDMS surface after modification. This modification allows the formation of highly monodisperse oil-in-water (O/W) droplets. The generation of water-in-oil-in-water (W/O/W) double emulsions was successfully achieved by connecting in series a hydrophobic microchip with a modified hydrophilic microchip. An original channel blocking technique to pattern the surface wettability of a specific section of a microchip using a viscous liquid comprising a mixture of honey and glycerol, is also presented for generating W/O/W emulsions on a single chip.
Micromachines2015, 6(10), 1435-1444; doi:10.3390/mi6101428 - published 29 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This work presents a technique for fabricating biconvex polymer microlenses using microfluidics, and then evaluates their tunable optical properties. A glass microfluidic channel was employed to rapidly mass-produce nanoliter-sized biphasic Janus droplets, which consist of a biconvex segment of a photocurable monomer and a concave-convex segment of a non-curable silicone oil that contained a surfactant. Subsequent photopolymerization produces polymeric biconvex spherical microlenses with templated dual curvatures. By changing the flow-rate ratios of the photocurable and non-curable droplet phases in the microfluidic channel, the radii of curvature of the two lens surfaces and the thicknesses of the resultant microlenses can be varied. The resulting biconvex microlenses with different shapes were used in image projection experiments. Different magnification properties were observed, and were consistent with the properties estimated quantitatively from the geometrical parameters of the lenses.
Micromachines2015, 6(10), 1427-1434; doi:10.3390/mi6101427 - published 25 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper studies micro structure fabrication by means of a textured tool cutting edge, which is manufactured by applying the wire cut electrical discharge machining (WEDM). Machining performance of the square structure fabrication on the tool cutting edge is investigated in the WEDM process, and the machining accuracy is explored in experimental analyses. In this proposed method, undesired overcut comes from the discharge between the processing debris and the side wall of the target structure. Furthermore, by applying the textured cutting tool, the target square structure is directly fabricated on the alumina workpiece with just a simple turning process, which verifies the feasibility of the proposed tool cutting edge textured method by applying the WEDM. This technology is expected to become a potential method for the mass production of micro structure surfaces in the future.
Micromachines2015, 6(10), 1421-1426; doi:10.3390/mi6101421 - published 25 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The frequency selective surface (FSS) is a periodic structure with filtering performance for optical and microwave signals. The general periodic arrays made with patterned metallic elements can act as an aperture or patch on a substrate. In this work, two kinds of materials were used to produce unit cells with various patterns. Gold nanoparticles of 25 nm diameter were used to form periodic monolayer arrays by a confined photocatalytic oxidation-based surface modification method. As the other material, silver gel was used to create multiple layers of silver. Due to the ultra-thin nature of the self-assembled gold nanoparticle monolayer, it is very easy to penetrate the FSS with terahertz radiation. However, the isolated silver islands made from silver gel form thicker multiple layers and contribute to much higher reflectance. This work demonstrated that multiple silver layers are more suitable than gold nanoparticles for use in the fabrication of FSS structures.