Open AccessArticle
Temporal Transition of Mechanical Characteristics of HUVEC/MSC Spheroids Using a Microfluidic Chip with Force Sensor Probes
Micromachines 2016, 7(12), 221; doi:10.3390/mi7120221 -
Abstract
In this paper, we focus on the mechanical characterization of co-cultured spheroids of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) (HUVEC/MSC spheroids). HUVEC/MSC spheroids aggregate during culture, thereby decreasing in size. Since this size decrease can be caused by
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In this paper, we focus on the mechanical characterization of co-cultured spheroids of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) (HUVEC/MSC spheroids). HUVEC/MSC spheroids aggregate during culture, thereby decreasing in size. Since this size decrease can be caused by the contractility generated by the actomyosin of MSCs, which are intracellular frames, we can expect that there is a temporal transition for the mechanical characteristics, such as stiffness, during culture. To measure the mechanical characteristics, we use a microfluidic chip that is integrated with force sensor probes. We show the details of the measurement configuration and the results of mechanical characterization of the HUVEC/MSC spheroids. To evaluate the stiffness of the spheroids, we introduce the stiffness index, which essentially shows a spring constant per unit size of the spheroid at a certain time during measurement. From the measurement results, we confirmed that the stiffness index firstly increased during the days of culture, although after four days of culture, the stiffness index decreased. We confirmed that the proposed system can measure the stiffness of HUVEC/MSC spheroids. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Study on the Influence of the Nozzle Lead Angle on the Performance of Liquid Metal Electromagnetic Micro-Jetting
Micromachines 2016, 7(12), 220; doi:10.3390/mi7120220 -
Abstract
To improve the jetting performance of liquid metals, an electromagnetic micro-jetting (EMJ) valve that realizes drop-on-demand (DOD) jetting while not involving any valve core or moving parts was designed. The influence of the lead angle of the nozzle on the jetting of liquid
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To improve the jetting performance of liquid metals, an electromagnetic micro-jetting (EMJ) valve that realizes drop-on-demand (DOD) jetting while not involving any valve core or moving parts was designed. The influence of the lead angle of the nozzle on the jetting of liquid metal gallium (Ga) was investigated. It was found that the Lorentz force component parallel to the nozzle that jets the electrified liquid Ga is always larger than its internal friction; thus, jet can be generated with any lead angle but with different kinetic energies. Experimental results show that the mass of the jetting liquid, the jetting distance, the initial velocity of the jet, and the resulting kinetic energy of the jet increase first and then decrease. When the lead angle is 90°, the mass of the jetting liquid and the kinetic energy are at their maximum. When the angle is 80°, the initial velocity achieves its maximum, with a calculated value of 0.042 m/s. Moreover, very close and comparatively high kinetic energies are obtained at 80° and 90°, indicating that angles in between this range can produce a preferable performance. This work provides an important theoretical basis for the design of the EMJ valve, and may promote the development and application of micro electromagnetic jetting technology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Moment of Inertia on the Liquids in Centrifugal Microfluidics
Micromachines 2016, 7(12), 215; doi:10.3390/mi7120215 -
Abstract
The flow of liquids in centrifugal microfluidics is unidirectional and dominated by centrifugal and Coriolis forces (i.e., effective only at T-junctions). Developing mechanisms and discovering efficient techniques to propel liquids in any direction other than the direction of the centrifugal force has been
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The flow of liquids in centrifugal microfluidics is unidirectional and dominated by centrifugal and Coriolis forces (i.e., effective only at T-junctions). Developing mechanisms and discovering efficient techniques to propel liquids in any direction other than the direction of the centrifugal force has been the subject of a large number of studies. The capillary force attained by specific surface treatments, pneumatic energy, active and passive flow reciprocation and Euler force have been previously introduced in order to manipulate the liquid flow and push it against the centrifugal force. Here, as a new method, the moment of inertia of the liquid inside a chamber in a centrifugal microfluidic platform is employed to manipulate the flow and propel the liquid passively towards the disc center. Furthermore, the effect of the moment of inertia on the liquid in a rectangular chamber is evaluated, both in theory and experiments, and the optimum geometry is defined. As an application of the introduced method, the moment of inertia of the liquid is used in order to mix two different dyed deionized (DI) waters; the mixing efficiency is evaluated and compared to similar mixing techniques. The results show the potential of the presented method for pumping liquids radially inward with relatively high flow rates (up to 23 mm3/s) and also efficient mixing in centrifugal microfluidic platforms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Enhanced Electroosmotic Micromixer with an Efficient Asymmetric Lateral Structure
Micromachines 2016, 7(12), 218; doi:10.3390/mi7120218 -
Abstract
Homogeneous and rapid mixing in microfluidic devices is difficult to accomplish, owing to the low Reynolds number associated with most flows in microfluidic channels. Here, an efficient electroosmotic micromixer based on a carefully designed lateral structure is demonstrated. The electroosmotic flow in this
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Homogeneous and rapid mixing in microfluidic devices is difficult to accomplish, owing to the low Reynolds number associated with most flows in microfluidic channels. Here, an efficient electroosmotic micromixer based on a carefully designed lateral structure is demonstrated. The electroosmotic flow in this mixer with an asymmetrical structure induces enhanced disturbance in the micro channel, helping the fluid streams’ folding and stretching, thereby enabling appreciable mixing. Quantitative analysis of the mixing efficiency with respect to the potential applied and the flow rate suggests that the electroosmotic microfluidic mixer developed in the present work can achieve efficient mixing with low applied potential. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Resonant Piezoelectric Diaphragm Pump Transferring Gas with Compact Structure
Micromachines 2016, 7(12), 219; doi:10.3390/mi7120219 -
Abstract
In order to improve the output capacity of a piezoelectric pump when transferring gas, this paper presents a compact resonant piezoelectric diaphragm pump (hereinafter referred to as the piezoelectric diaphragm pump), which is driven by a rectangular piezoelectric vibrator. The compact structure can
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In order to improve the output capacity of a piezoelectric pump when transferring gas, this paper presents a compact resonant piezoelectric diaphragm pump (hereinafter referred to as the piezoelectric diaphragm pump), which is driven by a rectangular piezoelectric vibrator. The compact structure can effectively release the vibrating constraints of the vibrator, and enlarge its center output displacement, so as to increase the volume change rate of the pump chamber. Based on the structure and the working principle of this piezoelectric diaphragm pump, a dynamic model for the diaphragm system is established in this paper, and an analysis on factors affecting the resonant frequency of the system is then conducted. We tested on the prototype under the driving voltage of 260 Vpp. The results show that the diaphragm system reaches resonance under the driving frequency of 265 Hz, which is very close to the fundamental frequency of check valve. Compared with the rectangular piezoelectric vibrator’s amplitude, the diaphragm’s amplitude is double amplified. At this time, the piezoelectric diaphragm pump achieves the maximum gas flow rate as 186.8 mL/min and the maximum output pressure as 56.7 kPa. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Recent Advancements in Liquid Metal Flexible Printed Electronics: Properties, Technologies, and Applications
Micromachines 2016, 7(12), 206; doi:10.3390/mi7120206 -
Abstract
This article presents an overview on typical properties, technologies, and applications of liquid metal based flexible printed electronics. The core manufacturing material—room-temperature liquid metal, currently mainly represented by gallium and its alloys with the properties of excellent resistivity, enormous bendability, low adhesion, and
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This article presents an overview on typical properties, technologies, and applications of liquid metal based flexible printed electronics. The core manufacturing material—room-temperature liquid metal, currently mainly represented by gallium and its alloys with the properties of excellent resistivity, enormous bendability, low adhesion, and large surface tension, was focused on in particular. In addition, a series of recently developed printing technologies spanning from personal electronic circuit printing (direct painting or writing, mechanical system printing, mask layer based printing, high-resolution nanoimprinting, etc.) to 3D room temperature liquid metal printing is comprehensively reviewed. Applications of these planar or three-dimensional printing technologies and the related liquid metal alloy inks in making flexible electronics, such as electronical components, health care sensors, and other functional devices were discussed. The significantly different adhesions of liquid metal inks on various substrates under different oxidation degrees, weakness of circuits, difficulty of fabricating high-accuracy devices, and low rate of good product—all of which are challenges faced by current liquid metal flexible printed electronics—are discussed. Prospects for liquid metal flexible printed electronics to develop ending user electronics and more extensive applications in the future are given. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical Model of Streaming DEP for Stem Cell Sorting
Micromachines 2016, 7(12), 217; doi:10.3390/mi7120217 -
Abstract
Neural stem cells are of special interest due to their potential in neurogenesis to treat spinal cord injuries and other nervous disorders. Flow cytometry, a common technique used for cell sorting, is limited due to the lack of antigens and labels that are
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Neural stem cells are of special interest due to their potential in neurogenesis to treat spinal cord injuries and other nervous disorders. Flow cytometry, a common technique used for cell sorting, is limited due to the lack of antigens and labels that are specific enough to stem cells of interest. Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is a label-free separation technique that has been recently demonstrated for the enrichment of neural stem/progenitor cells. Here we use numerical simulation to investigate the use of streaming DEP for the continuous sorting of neural stem/progenitor cells. Streaming DEP refers to the focusing of cells into streams by equilibrating the dielectrophoresis and drag forces acting on them. The width of the stream should be maximized to increase throughput while the separation between streams must be widened to increase efficiency during retrieval. The aim is to understand how device geometry and experimental variables affect the throughput and efficiency of continuous sorting of SC27 stem cells, a neurogenic progenitor, from SC23 cells, an astrogenic progenitor. We define efficiency as the ratio between the number of SC27 cells over total number of cells retrieved in the streams, and throughput as the number of SC27 cells retrieved in the streams compared to their total number introduced to the device. The use of cylindrical electrodes as tall as the channel yields streams featuring >98% of SC27 cells and width up to 80 µm when using a flow rate of 10 µL/min and sample cell concentration up to 105 cells/mL. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Self-Aligned Interdigitated Transducers for Acoustofluidics
Micromachines 2016, 7(12), 216; doi:10.3390/mi7120216 -
Abstract
The surface acoustic wave (SAW) is effective for the manipulation of fluids and particles at microscale. The current approach of integrating interdigitated transducers (IDTs) for SAW generation into microfluidic channels involves complex and laborious microfabrication steps. These steps often require full access to
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The surface acoustic wave (SAW) is effective for the manipulation of fluids and particles at microscale. The current approach of integrating interdigitated transducers (IDTs) for SAW generation into microfluidic channels involves complex and laborious microfabrication steps. These steps often require full access to clean room facilities and hours to align the transducers to the precise location. This work presents an affordable and innovative method for fabricating SAW-based microfluidic devices without the need for clean room facilities and alignment. The IDTs and microfluidic channels are fabricated using the same process and thus are precisely self-aligned in accordance with the device design. With the use of the developed fabrication approach, a few types of different SAW-based microfluidic devices have been fabricated and demonstrated for particle separation and active droplet generation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Automatic Path Tracking and Target Manipulation of a Magnetic Microrobot
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 212; doi:10.3390/mi7110212 -
Abstract
Recently, wireless controlled microrobots have been studied because of their great development prospects in the biomedical field. Electromagnetic microrobots have the advantages of control agility and good precision, and thus, have received much attention. Most of the control methods for controlling a magnetic
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Recently, wireless controlled microrobots have been studied because of their great development prospects in the biomedical field. Electromagnetic microrobots have the advantages of control agility and good precision, and thus, have received much attention. Most of the control methods for controlling a magnetic microrobot use manual operation. Compared to the manual method, the automatic method will increase the accuracy and stability of locomotion and manipulation of microrobots. In this paper, we propose an electromagnetic manipulation system for automatically controlling the locomotion and manipulation of microrobots. The microrobot can be automatically controlled to track various paths by using visual feedback with an expert control algorithm. A positioning accuracy test determined that the position error ranges from 92 to 293 μm, which is less than the body size (600 μm) of the microrobot. The velocity of the microrobot is nearly proportional to the applied current in the coils, and can reach 5 mm/s. As a micromanipulation tool, the microrobot is used to manipulate microspheres and microgears with the automatic control method. The results verify that the microrobot can drag, place, and drive the microstructures automatically with high precision. The microrobot is expected to be a delicate micromachine that could play its role in microfluidics and blood vessels, where conventional instruments are hard to reach. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Y-Shaped Microfluidic Device to Study the Combined Effect of Wall Shear Stress and ATP Signals on Intracellular Calcium Dynamics in Vascular Endothelial Cells
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 213; doi:10.3390/mi7110213 -
Abstract
The intracellular calcium dynamics in vascular endothelial cells (VECs) in response to wall shear stress (WSS) and/or adenosine triphosphate (ATP) have been commonly regarded as an important factor in regulating VEC function and behavior including proliferation, migration and apoptosis. However, the effects of
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The intracellular calcium dynamics in vascular endothelial cells (VECs) in response to wall shear stress (WSS) and/or adenosine triphosphate (ATP) have been commonly regarded as an important factor in regulating VEC function and behavior including proliferation, migration and apoptosis. However, the effects of time-varying ATP signals have been usually neglected in the past investigations in the field of VEC mechanobiology. In order to investigate the combined effects of WSS and dynamic ATP signals on the intracellular calcium dynamic in VECs, a Y-shaped microfluidic device, which can provide the cultured cells on the bottom of its mixing micro-channel with stimuli of WSS signal alone and different combinations of WSS and ATP signals in one single micro-channel, is proposed. Both numerical simulation and experimental studies verify the feasibility of its application. Cellular experimental results also suggest that a combination of WSS and ATP signals rather than a WSS signal alone might play a more significant role in VEC Ca2+ signal transduction induced by blood flow. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Microfluidic Mixing and Analog On-Chip Concentration Control Using Fluidic Dielectrophoresis
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 214; doi:10.3390/mi7110214 -
Abstract
Microfluidic platforms capable of complex on-chip processing and liquid handling enable a wide variety of sensing, cellular, and material-related applications across a spectrum of disciplines in engineering and biology. However, there is a general lack of available active microscale mixing methods capable of
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Microfluidic platforms capable of complex on-chip processing and liquid handling enable a wide variety of sensing, cellular, and material-related applications across a spectrum of disciplines in engineering and biology. However, there is a general lack of available active microscale mixing methods capable of dynamically controlling on-chip solute concentrations in real-time. Hence, multiple microfluidic fluid handling steps are often needed for applications that require buffers at varying on-chip concentrations. Here, we present a novel electrokinetic method for actively mixing laminar fluids and controlling on-chip concentrations in microfluidic channels using fluidic dielectrophoresis. Using a microfluidic channel junction, we co-flow three electrolyte streams side-by-side so that two outer conductive streams enclose a low conductive central stream. The tri-laminar flow is driven through an array of electrodes where the outer streams are electrokinetically deflected and forced to mix with the central flow field. This newly mixed central flow is then sent continuously downstream to serve as a concentration boundary condition for a microfluidic gradient chamber. We demonstrate that by actively mixing the upstream fluids, a variable concentration gradient can be formed dynamically downstream with single a fixed inlet concentration. This novel mixing approach offers a useful method for producing variable on-chip concentrations from a single inlet source. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Interference-Assisted Thermal Bonding Method for the Fabrication of Thermoplastic Microfluidic Devices
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 211; doi:10.3390/mi7110211 -
Abstract
Solutions for the bonding and sealing of micro-channels in the manufacturing process of microfluidic devices are limited; therefore, further technical developments are required to determine these solutions. In this study, a new bonding method for thermoplastic microfluidic devices was developed by combining an
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Solutions for the bonding and sealing of micro-channels in the manufacturing process of microfluidic devices are limited; therefore, further technical developments are required to determine these solutions. In this study, a new bonding method for thermoplastic microfluidic devices was developed by combining an interference fit with a thermal treatment at low pressure. This involved a process of first injection molding thermoplastic substrates with a microchannel structure, and then performing bonding experiments at different bonding conditions. The results indicated the successful bonding of microchannels over a wide range of bonding pressures with the help of the interference fit. The study also determined additional advantages of the proposed bonding method by comparing the method with the conventional thermal bonding method. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
One-Dimensional Thermal Analysis of the Flexible Electronic Devices Integrated with Human Skin
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 210; doi:10.3390/mi7110210 -
Abstract
A one-dimensional analytic thermal model for the flexible electronic devices integrated with human skin under a constant and pulsed power is developed. The Fourier heat conduction equation is adopted for the flexible electronics devices while the Pennes bio-heat transfer equation is adopted for
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A one-dimensional analytic thermal model for the flexible electronic devices integrated with human skin under a constant and pulsed power is developed. The Fourier heat conduction equation is adopted for the flexible electronics devices while the Pennes bio-heat transfer equation is adopted for the skin tissue. Finite element analysis is performed to validate the analytic model through the comparison of temperature distributions in the system. The influences of geometric and loading parameters on the temperature increase under a pulsed power are investigated. It is shown that a small duty cycle can reduce the temperature increase of the system effectively. A thin substrate can reduce the device temperature but increase the skin surface temperature. The results presented may be helpful to optimize the design of flexible electronic devices to reduce the adverse thermal influences in bio-integrated applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Precision Position Control of a Voice Coil Motor Using Self-Tuning Fractional Order Proportional-Integral-Derivative Control
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 207; doi:10.3390/mi7110207 -
Abstract
The object of this study is to develop a self-tuning fractional order proportional-integral-derivative (SFOPID) controller for controlling the mover position of a direct drive linear voice coil motor (VCM) accurately under different operational conditions. The fractional order proportional-integral-derivative (FOPID) controller can improve the
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The object of this study is to develop a self-tuning fractional order proportional-integral-derivative (SFOPID) controller for controlling the mover position of a direct drive linear voice coil motor (VCM) accurately under different operational conditions. The fractional order proportional-integral-derivative (FOPID) controller can improve the control performances of the conventional integer order PID controller with respect to the additional fractional differential and integral orders; however, choosing five interdependent control parameters including proportional, integral, and derivative gains, as well as fractional differential and integral orders appropriately is arduous in practical applications. In this regard, the SFOPID controller is proposed in which the five control parameters are optimized dynamically and concurrently according to an adaptive differential evolution algorithm with a high efficiency adaptive selection mechanism. Experimental results reveal that the SFOPID controller outperforms PID and FOPID controllers with regard to the nonlinear VCM control system under both nominal and payload conditions. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
3C-Silicon Carbide Microresonators for Timing and Frequency Reference
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 208; doi:10.3390/mi7110208 -
Abstract
In the drive to miniaturise and integrate reference oscillator components, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) resonators are excellent candidates to replace quartz crystals. Silicon is the most utilised resonator structural material due to its associated well-established fabrication processes. However, when operation in harsh environments is
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In the drive to miniaturise and integrate reference oscillator components, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) resonators are excellent candidates to replace quartz crystals. Silicon is the most utilised resonator structural material due to its associated well-established fabrication processes. However, when operation in harsh environments is required, cubic silicon carbide (3C-SiC) is an excellent candidate for use as a structural material, due to its robustness, chemical inertness and high temperature stability. In order to actuate 3C-SiC resonators, electrostatic, electrothermal and piezoelectric methods have been explored. Both electrothermal and piezoelectric actuation can be accomplished with simpler fabrication and lower driving voltages, down to 0.5 V, compared to electrostatic actuation. The vibration amplitude at resonance can be maximised by optimising the design and location of the electrodes. Electrical read out of the resonator can be performed with electrostatic or piezoelectric transduction. Finally, a great deal of research has focused on tuning the resonant frequency of a 3C-SiC resonator by adjusting the DC bias applied to the electrodes, with a higher (up to 160-times) tuning range for electrothermal tuning compared to piezoelectric tuning. Electrothermal tuning lowers the frequency, while piezoelectric tuning can be used to raise the frequency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Power Generation by Reverse Electrodialysis in a Microfluidic Device with a Nafion Ion-Selective Membrane
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 205; doi:10.3390/mi7110205 -
Abstract
An energy conversion microchip consisting of two circular microchambers and a Nafion-filled microchannel is fabricated using standard micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) techniques. When the chambers are filled with KCl solutions with different concentrations, the Nafion microchannel acts as a cation-selective membrane and results in
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An energy conversion microchip consisting of two circular microchambers and a Nafion-filled microchannel is fabricated using standard micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) techniques. When the chambers are filled with KCl solutions with different concentrations, the Nafion microchannel acts as a cation-selective membrane and results in the generation of electrical power through a reverse electrodialysis (RED) process. The current-potential characteristics of the Nafion membrane are investigated for devices with various microchannel lengths and electrolyte concentration ratios. It is shown that for a given voltage, the current and generated power increase with a reducing channel length due to a lower resistance. In addition, a maximum power density of 755 mW/m2 is obtained given an electrolyte concentration ratio of 2000:1 (unit is mM). The optimal device efficiency is found to be 36% given a channel length of 1 mm and a concentration ratio of 1000:1 (mM). Finally, no enhancement of the short circuit current is observed at higher concentration ratios. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Electro-Deformation of Fused Cells in a Microfluidic Array Device
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 204; doi:10.3390/mi7110204 -
Abstract
We present a new method of analyzing the deformability of fused cells in a microfluidic array device. Electrical stresses—generated by applying voltages (4–20 V) across discrete co-planar microelectrodes along the side walls of a microfluidic channel—have been used to electro-deform fused and unfused
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We present a new method of analyzing the deformability of fused cells in a microfluidic array device. Electrical stresses—generated by applying voltages (4–20 V) across discrete co-planar microelectrodes along the side walls of a microfluidic channel—have been used to electro-deform fused and unfused stem cells. Under an electro-deformation force induced by applying an alternating current (AC) signal, we observed significant electro-deformation phenomena. The experimental results show that the fused stem cells were stiffer than the unfused stem cells at a relatively low voltage (<16 V). However, at a relatively high voltage, the fused stem cells were more easily deformed than were the unfused stem cells. In addition, the electro-deformation process is modeled based on the Maxwell stress tensor and structural mechanics of cells. The theoretical results show that a positive correlation is found between the deformation of the cell and the applied voltage, which is consistent with the experimental results. Combined with a numerical analysis and experimental study, the results showed that the significant difference of the deformation ratio of the fused and unfused cells is not due to their size difference. This demonstrates that some other properties of cell membranes (such as the membrane structure) were also changed in the electrofusion process, in addition to the size modification of that process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Rapid Prototyping Technique for Microfluidics with High Robustness and Flexibility
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 201; doi:10.3390/mi7110201 -
Abstract
In microfluidic device prototyping, master fabrication by traditional photolithography is expensive and time-consuming, especially when the design requires being repeatedly modified to achieve a satisfactory performance. By introducing a high-performance/cost-ratio laser to the traditional soft lithography, this paper describes a flexible and rapid
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In microfluidic device prototyping, master fabrication by traditional photolithography is expensive and time-consuming, especially when the design requires being repeatedly modified to achieve a satisfactory performance. By introducing a high-performance/cost-ratio laser to the traditional soft lithography, this paper describes a flexible and rapid prototyping technique for microfluidics. An ultraviolet (UV) laser directly writes on the photoresist without a photomask, which is suitable for master fabrication. By eliminating the constraints of fixed patterns in the traditional photomask when the masters are made, this prototyping technique gives designers/researchers the convenience to revise or modify their designs iteratively. A device fabricated by this method is tested for particle separation and demonstrates good properties. This technique provides a flexible and rapid solution to fabricating microfluidic devices for non-professionals at relatively low cost. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
UV Light–Induced Aggregation of Titania Submicron Particles
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 203; doi:10.3390/mi7110203 -
Abstract
In this study, aggregation of TiO2 (rutile and anatase) submicron particles in deionized (DI) water under ultra-violet (UV) light irradiation was investigated. While no aggregation was observed in the dark, rutile and anatase submicron particles started aggregating upon application of UV light
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In this study, aggregation of TiO2 (rutile and anatase) submicron particles in deionized (DI) water under ultra-violet (UV) light irradiation was investigated. While no aggregation was observed in the dark, rutile and anatase submicron particles started aggregating upon application of UV light and ceased aggregation in about 2 and 8.4 h, respectively. It has been demonstrated that UV light directly mitigated the particle mobility of TiO2, resulting in a neutralization effect of the Zeta potential. It was also observed that rutile particles aggregated much faster than anatase particles under UV radiation, indicating that the Zeta potential of as-prepared rutile is less than that of anatase in deionized (DI) water. In addition, the interaction energy of rutile and anatase particles was simulated using the Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek (DLVO) model. The results showed a significant reduction of barrier energy from 118.2 kBT to 33.6 kBT for rutile and from 333.5 kBT to 46.1 kBT for anatase, respectively, which further validated the remarkable influence of UV irradiation on the aggregation kinetics of rutile and anatase submicron particles. This work presents a further understanding of the aggregation mechanism of light-controlled submicron particles and has a promising potential application in environmental remediation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Electrothermal Actuators for SiO2 Photonic MEMS
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 200; doi:10.3390/mi7110200 -
Abstract
This paper describes the design, fabrication and characterization of electrothermal bimorph actuators consisting of polysilicon on top of thick (>10 μm) silicon dioxide beams. This material platform enables the integration of actuators with photonic waveguides, producing mechanically-flexible photonic waveguide structures that
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This paper describes the design, fabrication and characterization of electrothermal bimorph actuators consisting of polysilicon on top of thick (>10 μm) silicon dioxide beams. This material platform enables the integration of actuators with photonic waveguides, producing mechanically-flexible photonic waveguide structures that are positionable. These structures are explored as part of a novel concept for highly automated, sub-micrometer precision chip-to-chip alignment. In order to prevent residual stress-induced fracturing that is associated with the release of thick oxide structures from a silicon substrate, a special reinforcement method is applied to create suspended silicon dioxide beam structures. The characterization includes measurements of the post-release deformation (i.e., without actuation), as well as the deflection resulting from quasi-static and dynamic actuation. The post-release deformation reveals a curvature, resulting in the free ends of 800 μm long silicon dioxide beams with 5 μm-thick polysilicon to be situated approximately 80 μm above the chip surface. Bimorph actuators that are 800 μm in length produce an out-of-plane deflection of approximately 11 μm at 60 mW dissipated power, corresponding to an estimated 240 C actuator temperature. The delivered actuation force of the 800 μm-long bimorph actuators having 5 μm-thick polysilicon is calculated to be approximately 750 μN at 120 mW. Full article
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