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Special Issue "Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Amine Miled

Department Electrical and Computer Engineering, Laval University, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: packaging techniques for hybrid microsystems; low-cost and fast micro-fabrication of lab-on-chip devices; particle displacement modelling in microchannel; lab-on-chip for biosensors and actuators; new tools to understand brain chemical disorders
Guest Editor
Dr. Jesse Greener

Département de Chimie, Université Laval, 1045 Avenue de la Médecine, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 418 656 7916
Interests: lab-on-a-chip analytical solutions; environmental and catalytic biomaterials; microfabrication methods; microbial fuel cells

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Microfluidics is quickly becoming a key technology in an expanding range of fields, such as medical sciences, biosensing, bioactuation, chemical synthesis, and more. This is helping to transform microfluidics from a promising R&D tool to commercially viable technology. Fuelling this expansion is the intensified focus on automation and enhanced functionality through integration of complex electrical, mechanical, photonic, sensing, and flow control elements. This Special Issue will highlight methods and emerging challenges with this new phase of microfluidic development with the goal of informing readers of the current state-of-the-art.

Authors are encouraged to submit novel research papers and reviews with areas of focus that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Combining microfluidics with complex elements: MEMS, electronics/electrodes, parallelization, analytical probes
  • Highly parallelized operations and automated analysis
  • Novel packaging concepts for new applications: harsh/sensitive environments
  • World-to-chip interfacing for complex fluid control and electrical interfacing
  • Modelling/simulation issues related to microfluidic integration
  • Implanted and remote/autonomous microfluidic solutions
  • “Smart” fabrication materials and components


Prof. Dr. Amine Miled
Prof. Dr. Jesse Greener
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Microfluidic integration
  • Microfluidics
  • MEMS
  • Biosensors
  • Bioactuators
  • Microfluidics packaging
  • Bio-microfluidics

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Bench-Top Fabrication of an All-PDMS Microfluidic Electrochemical Cell Sensor Integrating Micro/Nanostructured Electrodes
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 732; doi:10.3390/s17040732
Received: 11 January 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
PDF Full-text (3014 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In recent years, efforts in the development of lab-on-a-chip (LoC) devices for point-of-care (PoC) applications have increased to bring affordable, portable, and sensitive diagnostics to the patients’ bedside. To reach this goal, research has shifted from using traditional microfabrication methods to more versatile,
[...] Read more.
In recent years, efforts in the development of lab-on-a-chip (LoC) devices for point-of-care (PoC) applications have increased to bring affordable, portable, and sensitive diagnostics to the patients’ bedside. To reach this goal, research has shifted from using traditional microfabrication methods to more versatile, rapid, and low-cost options. This work focuses on the benchtop fabrication of a highly sensitive, fully transparent, and flexible poly (dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) microfluidic (μF) electrochemical cell sensor. The μF device encapsulates 3D structured gold and platinum electrodes, fabricated using a shape-memory polymer shrinking method, which are used to set up an on-chip electrochemical cell. The PDMS to PDMS-structured electrode bonding protocol to fabricate the μF chip was optimized and found to have sufficient bond strength to withstand up to 100 mL/min flow rates. The sensing capabilities of the on-chip electrochemical cell were demonstrated by using cyclic voltammetry to monitor the adhesion of murine 3T3 fibroblasts in the presence of a redox reporter. The charge transfer across the working electrode was reduced upon cell adhesion, which was used as the detection mechanism, and allowed the detection of as few as 24 cells. The effective utilization of simple and low cost bench-top fabrication methods could accelerate the prototyping and development of LoC technologies and bring PoC diagnostics and personalized medicine to the patients’ bedside. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
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Open AccessArticle Frequency-Switchable Microfluidic CSRR-Loaded QMSIW Band-Pass Filter Using a Liquid Metal Alloy
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 699; doi:10.3390/s17040699
Received: 11 January 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 27 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
PDF Full-text (4702 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we have proposed a frequency-switchable complementary split-ring resonator (CSRR)-loaded quarter-mode substrate-integrated-waveguide (QMSIW) band-pass filter. For frequency switching, a microfluidic channel and liquid metal are used. The liquid metal used is eutectic gallium-indium (EGaIn), consisting of 24.5% indium and 75.5% gallium.
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we have proposed a frequency-switchable complementary split-ring resonator (CSRR)-loaded quarter-mode substrate-integrated-waveguide (QMSIW) band-pass filter. For frequency switching, a microfluidic channel and liquid metal are used. The liquid metal used is eutectic gallium-indium (EGaIn), consisting of 24.5% indium and 75.5% gallium. The microfluidic channels are built using the elastomer polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and three-dimensional-printed microfluidic channel frames. The CSRR-loaded QMSIW band-pass filter is designed to have two states. Before the injection of the liquid metal, the measured center frequency and fractional bandwidths are 2.205 GHz and 6.80%, respectively. After injection, the center frequency shifts from 2.205 GHz to 2.56 GHz. Although the coupling coefficient is practically unchanged, the fractional bandwidth changes from 6.8% to 9.38%, as the CSRR shape changes and the external quality factor decreases. After the removal of the liquid metal, the measured values are similar to the values recorded before the liquid metal was injected. The repeatability of the frequency-switchable mechanism is, therefore, verified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
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Open AccessArticle Vision Marker-Based In Situ Examination of Bacterial Growth in Liquid Culture Media
Sensors 2016, 16(12), 2179; doi:10.3390/s16122179
Received: 7 November 2016 / Revised: 4 December 2016 / Accepted: 14 December 2016 / Published: 18 December 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2551 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The detection of bacterial growth in liquid media is an essential process in determining antibiotic susceptibility or the level of bacterial presence for clinical or research purposes. We have developed a system, which enables simplified and automated detection using a camera and a
[...] Read more.
The detection of bacterial growth in liquid media is an essential process in determining antibiotic susceptibility or the level of bacterial presence for clinical or research purposes. We have developed a system, which enables simplified and automated detection using a camera and a striped pattern marker. The quantification of bacterial growth is possible as the bacterial growth in the culturing vessel blurs the marker image, which is placed on the back of the vessel, and the blurring results in a decrease in the high-frequency spectrum region of the marker image. The experiment results show that the FFT (fast Fourier transform)-based growth detection method is robust to the variations in the type of bacterial carrier and vessels ranging from the culture tubes to the microfluidic devices. Moreover, the automated incubator and image acquisition system are developed to be used as a comprehensive in situ detection system. We expect that this result can be applied in the automation of biological experiments, such as the Antibiotics Susceptibility Test or toxicity measurement. Furthermore, the simple framework of the proposed growth measurement method may be further utilized as an effective and convenient method for building point-of-care devices for developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
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Open AccessArticle One-Step Fabrication of Microchannels with Integrated Three Dimensional Features by Hot Intrusion Embossing
Sensors 2016, 16(12), 2023; doi:10.3390/s16122023
Received: 23 September 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3471 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We build on the concept of hot intrusion embossing to develop a one-step fabrication method for thermoplastic microfluidic channels containing integrated three-dimensional features. This was accomplished with simple, rapid-to-fabricate imprint templates containing microcavities that locally control the intrusion of heated thermoplastic based on
[...] Read more.
We build on the concept of hot intrusion embossing to develop a one-step fabrication method for thermoplastic microfluidic channels containing integrated three-dimensional features. This was accomplished with simple, rapid-to-fabricate imprint templates containing microcavities that locally control the intrusion of heated thermoplastic based on their cross-sectional geometries. The use of circular, rectangular and triangular cavity geometries was demonstrated for the purposes of forming posts, multi-focal length microlense arrays, walls, steps, tapered features and three-dimensional serpentine microchannels. Process variables, such as temperature and pressure, controlled feature dimensions without affecting the overall microchannel geometry. The approach was demonstrated for polycarbonate, cycloolefin copolymer and polystyrene, but in principle is applicable to any thermoplastic. The approach is a step forward towards rapid fabrication of complex, robust, microfluidic platforms with integrated multi-functional elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
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Open AccessArticle A Laminar Flow-Based Microfluidic Tesla Pump via Lithography Enabled 3D Printing
Sensors 2016, 16(11), 1970; doi:10.3390/s16111970
Received: 20 September 2016 / Revised: 12 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 23 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2389 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Tesla turbine and its applications in power generation and fluid flow were demonstrated by Nicholas Tesla in 1913. However, its real-world implementations were limited by the difficulty to maintain laminar flow between rotor disks, transient efficiencies during rotor acceleration, and the lack of
[...] Read more.
Tesla turbine and its applications in power generation and fluid flow were demonstrated by Nicholas Tesla in 1913. However, its real-world implementations were limited by the difficulty to maintain laminar flow between rotor disks, transient efficiencies during rotor acceleration, and the lack of other applications that fully utilize the continuous flow outputs. All of the aforementioned limits of Tesla turbines can be addressed by scaling to the microfluidic flow regime. Demonstrated here is a microscale Tesla pump designed and fabricated using a Digital Light Processing (DLP) based 3D printer with 43 µm lateral and 30 µm thickness resolutions. The miniaturized pump is characterized by low Reynolds number of 1000 and a flow rate of up to 12.6 mL/min at 1200 rpm, unloaded. It is capable of driving a mixer network to generate microfluidic gradient. The continuous, laminar flow from Tesla turbines is well-suited to the needs of flow-sensitive microfluidics, where the integrated pump will enable numerous compact lab-on-a-chip applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
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Open AccessArticle Machine Learning Based Single-Frame Super-Resolution Processing for Lensless Blood Cell Counting
Sensors 2016, 16(11), 1836; doi:10.3390/s16111836
Received: 25 August 2016 / Revised: 14 October 2016 / Accepted: 21 October 2016 / Published: 2 November 2016
PDF Full-text (3738 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A lensless blood cell counting system integrating microfluidic channel and a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor is a promising technique to miniaturize the conventional optical lens based imaging system for point-of-care testing (POCT). However, such a system has limited resolution, making
[...] Read more.
A lensless blood cell counting system integrating microfluidic channel and a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor is a promising technique to miniaturize the conventional optical lens based imaging system for point-of-care testing (POCT). However, such a system has limited resolution, making it imperative to improve resolution from the system-level using super-resolution (SR) processing. Yet, how to improve resolution towards better cell detection and recognition with low cost of processing resources and without degrading system throughput is still a challenge. In this article, two machine learning based single-frame SR processing types are proposed and compared for lensless blood cell counting, namely the Extreme Learning Machine based SR (ELMSR) and Convolutional Neural Network based SR (CNNSR). Moreover, lensless blood cell counting prototypes using commercial CMOS image sensors and custom designed backside-illuminated CMOS image sensors are demonstrated with ELMSR and CNNSR. When one captured low-resolution lensless cell image is input, an improved high-resolution cell image will be output. The experimental results show that the cell resolution is improved by 4×, and CNNSR has 9.5% improvement over the ELMSR on resolution enhancing performance. The cell counting results also match well with a commercial flow cytometer. Such ELMSR and CNNSR therefore have the potential for efficient resolution improvement in lensless blood cell counting systems towards POCT applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
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Open AccessArticle Complementary Split-Ring Resonator-Loaded Microfluidic Ethanol Chemical Sensor
Sensors 2016, 16(11), 1802; doi:10.3390/s16111802
Received: 4 August 2016 / Revised: 5 October 2016 / Accepted: 22 October 2016 / Published: 28 October 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4480 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, a complementary split-ring resonator (CSRR)-loaded patch is proposed as a microfluidic ethanol chemical sensor. The primary objective of this chemical sensor is to detect ethanol’s concentration. First, two tightly coupled concentric CSRRs loaded on a patch are realized on a
[...] Read more.
In this paper, a complementary split-ring resonator (CSRR)-loaded patch is proposed as a microfluidic ethanol chemical sensor. The primary objective of this chemical sensor is to detect ethanol’s concentration. First, two tightly coupled concentric CSRRs loaded on a patch are realized on a Rogers RT/Duroid 5870 substrate, and then a microfluidic channel engraved on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is integrated for ethanol chemical sensor applications. The resonant frequency of the structure before loading the microfluidic channel is 4.72 GHz. After loading the microfluidic channel, the 550 MHz shift in the resonant frequency is ascribed to the dielectric perturbation phenomenon when the ethanol concentration is varied from 0% to 100%. In order to assess the sensitivity range of our proposed sensor, various concentrations of ethanol are tested and analyzed. Our proposed sensor exhibits repeatability and successfully detects 10% ethanol as verified by the measurement set-up. It has created headway to a miniaturized, non-contact, low-cost, reliable, reusable, and easily fabricated design using extremely small liquid volumes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Ultrasonic Welding and Thermal Bonding for the Integration of Thin Film Metal Electrodes in Injection Molded Polymeric Lab-on-Chip Systems for Electrochemistry
Sensors 2016, 16(11), 1795; doi:10.3390/s16111795
Received: 5 September 2016 / Revised: 6 October 2016 / Accepted: 14 October 2016 / Published: 27 October 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2106 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We compare ultrasonic welding (UW) and thermal bonding (TB) for the integration of embedded thin-film gold electrodes for electrochemical applications in injection molded (IM) microfluidic chips. The UW bonded chips showed a significantly superior electrochemical performance compared to the ones obtained using TB.
[...] Read more.
We compare ultrasonic welding (UW) and thermal bonding (TB) for the integration of embedded thin-film gold electrodes for electrochemical applications in injection molded (IM) microfluidic chips. The UW bonded chips showed a significantly superior electrochemical performance compared to the ones obtained using TB. Parameters such as metal thickness of electrodes, depth of electrode embedding, delivered power, and height of energy directors (for UW), as well as pressure and temperature (for TB), were systematically studied to evaluate the two bonding methods and requirements for optimal electrochemical performance. The presented technology is intended for easy and effective integration of polymeric Lab-on-Chip systems to encourage their use in research, commercialization and education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
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Open AccessArticle Arbitrarily Accessible 3D Microfluidic Device for Combinatorial High-Throughput Drug Screening
Sensors 2016, 16(10), 1616; doi:10.3390/s16101616
Received: 26 August 2016 / Revised: 19 September 2016 / Accepted: 23 September 2016 / Published: 29 September 2016
PDF Full-text (2677 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Microfluidics-based drug-screening systems have enabled efficient and high-throughput drug screening, but their routine uses in ordinary labs are limited due to the complexity involved in device fabrication and system setup. In this work, we report an easy-to-use and low-cost arbitrarily accessible 3D microfluidic
[...] Read more.
Microfluidics-based drug-screening systems have enabled efficient and high-throughput drug screening, but their routine uses in ordinary labs are limited due to the complexity involved in device fabrication and system setup. In this work, we report an easy-to-use and low-cost arbitrarily accessible 3D microfluidic device that can be easily adopted by various labs to perform combinatorial assays for high-throughput drug screening. The device is capable of precisely performing automatic and simultaneous reagent loading and aliquoting tasks and performing multistep assays with arbitrary sequences. The device is not intended to compete with other microfluidic technologies regarding ultra-low reaction volume. Instead, its freedom from tubing or pumping systems and easy operation makes it an ideal platform for routine high-throughput drug screening outside traditional microfluidic labs. The functionality and quantitative reliability of the 3D microfluidic device were demonstrated with a histone acetyltransferase-based drug-screening assay using the recombinant Plasmodium falciparum GCN5 enzyme, benchmarked with a traditional microtiter plate-based method. This arbitrarily accessible, multistep capable, low-cost, and easy-to-use device can be widely adopted in various combinatorial assays beyond high-throughput drug screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
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Open AccessArticle A Fluidically Tunable Metasurface Absorber for Flexible Large-Scale Wireless Ethanol Sensor Applications
Sensors 2016, 16(8), 1246; doi:10.3390/s16081246
Received: 13 June 2016 / Revised: 23 July 2016 / Accepted: 2 August 2016 / Published: 6 August 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3804 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, a novel flexible tunable metasurface absorber is proposed for large-scale remote ethanol sensor applications. The proposed metasurface absorber consists of periodic split-ring-cross resonators (SRCRs) and microfluidic channels. The SRCR patterns are inkjet-printed on paper using silver nanoparticle inks. The microfluidic
[...] Read more.
In this paper, a novel flexible tunable metasurface absorber is proposed for large-scale remote ethanol sensor applications. The proposed metasurface absorber consists of periodic split-ring-cross resonators (SRCRs) and microfluidic channels. The SRCR patterns are inkjet-printed on paper using silver nanoparticle inks. The microfluidic channels are laser-etched on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) material. The proposed absorber can detect changes in the effective permittivity for different liquids. Therefore, the absorber can be used for a remote chemical sensor by detecting changes in the resonant frequencies. The performance of the proposed absorber is demonstrated with full-wave simulation and measurement results. The experimental results show the resonant frequency increases from 8.9 GHz to 10.04 GHz when the concentration of ethanol is changed from 0% to 100%. In addition, the proposed absorber shows linear frequency shift from 20% to 80% of the different concentrations of ethanol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
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Open AccessArticle Passive Mixing Capabilities of Micro- and Nanofibres When Used in Microfluidic Systems
Sensors 2016, 16(8), 1238; doi:10.3390/s16081238
Received: 25 May 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 30 July 2016 / Published: 5 August 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2760 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Nanofibres are increasingly being used in the field of bioanalytics due to their large surface-area-to-volume ratios and easy-to-functionalize surfaces. To date, nanofibres have been studied as effective filters, concentrators, and immobilization matrices within microfluidic devices. In addition, they are frequently used as optical
[...] Read more.
Nanofibres are increasingly being used in the field of bioanalytics due to their large surface-area-to-volume ratios and easy-to-functionalize surfaces. To date, nanofibres have been studied as effective filters, concentrators, and immobilization matrices within microfluidic devices. In addition, they are frequently used as optical and electrochemical transduction materials. In this work, we demonstrate that electrospun nanofibre mats cause appreciable passive mixing and therefore provide dual functionality when incorporated within microfluidic systems. Specifically, electrospun nanofibre mats were integrated into Y-shaped poly(methyl methacrylate) microchannels and the degree of mixing was quantified using fluorescence microscopy and ImageJ analysis. The degree of mixing afforded in relationship to fibre diameter, mat height, and mat length was studied. We observed that the most mixing was caused by small diameter PVA nanofibres (450–550 nm in diameter), producing up to 71% mixing at the microchannel outlet, compared to up to 51% with polystyrene microfibres (0.8–2.7 μm in diameter) and 29% mixing in control channels containing no fibres. The mixing afforded by the PVA nanofibres is caused by significant inhomogeneity in pore size and distribution leading to percolation. As expected, within all the studies, fluid mixing increased with fibre mat height, which corresponds to the vertical space of the microchannel occupied by the fibre mats. Doubling the height of the fibre mat led to an average increase in mixing of 14% for the PVA nanofibres and 8% for the PS microfibres. Overall, mixing was independent of the length of the fibre mat used (3–10 mm), suggesting that most mixing occurs as fluid enters and exits the fibre mat. The mixing effects observed within the fibre mats were comparable to or better than many passive mixers reported in literature. Since the nanofibre mats can be further functionalized to couple analyte concentration, immobilization, and detection with enhanced fluid mixing, they are a promising nanomaterial providing dual-functionality within lab-on-a-chip devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel Microfluidic Flow Rate Detection Method Based on Surface Plasmon Resonance Temperature Imaging
Sensors 2016, 16(7), 964; doi:10.3390/s16070964
Received: 29 April 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 21 June 2016 / Published: 24 June 2016
PDF Full-text (4360 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A novel microfluidic flow rate detection method based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) temperature imaging is proposed. The measurement is performed by space-resolved SPR imaging of the flow induced temperature variations. Theoretical simulations and analysis were performed to demonstrate a proof of concept
[...] Read more.
A novel microfluidic flow rate detection method based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) temperature imaging is proposed. The measurement is performed by space-resolved SPR imaging of the flow induced temperature variations. Theoretical simulations and analysis were performed to demonstrate a proof of concept using this approach. Experiments were implemented and results showed that water flow rates within a wide range of tens to hundreds of μL/min could be detected. The flow rate sensor is resistant to disturbances and can be easily integrated into microfluidic lab-on-chip systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
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Open AccessArticle Towards a Multifunctional Electrochemical Sensing and Niosome Generation Lab-on-Chip Platform Based on a Plug-and-Play Concept
Sensors 2016, 16(6), 778; doi:10.3390/s16060778
Received: 21 April 2016 / Revised: 13 May 2016 / Accepted: 23 May 2016 / Published: 28 May 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (9392 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we present a new modular lab on a chip design for multimodal neurotransmitter (NT) sensing and niosome generation based on a plug-and-play concept. This architecture is a first step toward an automated platform for an automated modulation of neurotransmitter concentration
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we present a new modular lab on a chip design for multimodal neurotransmitter (NT) sensing and niosome generation based on a plug-and-play concept. This architecture is a first step toward an automated platform for an automated modulation of neurotransmitter concentration to understand and/or treat neurodegenerative diseases. A modular approach has been adopted in order to handle measurement or drug delivery or both measurement and drug delivery simultaneously. The system is composed of three fully independent modules: three-channel peristaltic micropumping system, a three-channel potentiostat and a multi-unit microfluidic system composed of pseudo-Y and cross-shape channels containing a miniature electrode array. The system was wirelessly controlled by a computer interface. The system is compact, with all the microfluidic and sensing components packaged in a 5 cm × 4 cm × 4 cm box. Applied to serotonin, a linear calibration curve down to 0.125 mM, with a limit of detection of 31 μ M was collected at unfunctionalized electrodes. Added sensitivity and selectivity was achieved by incorporating functionalized electrodes for dopamine sensing. Electrode functionalization was achieved with gold nanoparticles and using DNA and o-phenylene diamine polymer. The as-configured platform is demonstrated as a central component toward an “intelligent” drug delivery system based on a feedback loop to monitor drug delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
Open AccessArticle Xurography as a Rapid Fabrication Alternative for Point-of-Care Devices: Assessment of Passive Micromixers
Sensors 2016, 16(5), 705; doi:10.3390/s16050705
Received: 20 February 2016 / Revised: 5 May 2016 / Accepted: 10 May 2016 / Published: 16 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2564 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Despite the copious amount of research on the design and operation of micromixers, there are few works regarding manufacture technology aimed at implementation beyond academic environments. This work evaluates the viability of xurography as a rapid fabrication tool for the development of ultra-low
[...] Read more.
Despite the copious amount of research on the design and operation of micromixers, there are few works regarding manufacture technology aimed at implementation beyond academic environments. This work evaluates the viability of xurography as a rapid fabrication tool for the development of ultra-low cost microfluidic technology for extreme Point-of-Care (POC) micromixing devices. By eschewing photolithographic processes and the bulkiness of pumping and enclosure systems for rapid fabrication and passively driven operation, xurography is introduced as a manufacturing alternative for asymmetric split and recombine (ASAR) micromixers. A T-micromixer design was used as a reference to assess the effects of different cutting conditions and materials on the geometric features of the resulting microdevices. Inspection by stereographic and confocal microscopy showed that it is possible to manufacture devices with less than 8% absolute dimensional error. Implementation of the manufacturing methodology in modified circular shape- based SAR microdevices (balanced and unbalanced configurations) showed that, despite the precision limitations of the xurographic process, it is possible to implement this methodology to produce functional micromixing devices. Mixing efficiency was evaluated numerically and experimentally at the outlet of the microdevices with performances up to 40%. Overall, the assessment encourages further research of xurography for the development of POC micromixers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Combined Dielectrophoresis and Impedance Systems for Bacteria Analysis in Microfluidic On-Chip Platforms
Sensors 2016, 16(9), 1514; doi:10.3390/s16091514
Received: 23 February 2016 / Revised: 12 August 2016 / Accepted: 9 September 2016 / Published: 16 September 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2937 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bacteria concentration and detection is time-consuming in regular microbiology procedures aimed to facilitate the detection and analysis of these cells at very low concentrations. Traditional methods are effective but often require several days to complete. This scenario results in low bioanalytical and diagnostic
[...] Read more.
Bacteria concentration and detection is time-consuming in regular microbiology procedures aimed to facilitate the detection and analysis of these cells at very low concentrations. Traditional methods are effective but often require several days to complete. This scenario results in low bioanalytical and diagnostic methodologies with associated increased costs and complexity. In recent years, the exploitation of the intrinsic electrical properties of cells has emerged as an appealing alternative approach for concentrating and detecting bacteria. The combination of dielectrophoresis (DEP) and impedance analysis (IA) in microfluidic on-chip platforms could be key to develop rapid, accurate, portable, simple-to-use and cost-effective microfluidic devices with a promising impact in medicine, public health, agricultural, food control and environmental areas. The present document reviews recent DEP and IA combined approaches and the latest relevant improvements focusing on bacteria concentration and detection, including selectivity, sensitivity, detection time, and conductivity variation enhancements. Furthermore, this review analyses future trends and challenges which need to be addressed in order to successfully commercialize these platforms resulting in an adequate social return of public-funded investments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidics-Based Microsystem Integration Research)
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