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Open AccessArticle

Durability and Recoverability of Soft Lithographically Patterned Hydrogel Molds for the Formation of Phase Separation Membranes

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1H9, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2020, 11(1), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11010108
Received: 30 December 2019 / Revised: 15 January 2020 / Accepted: 17 January 2020 / Published: 19 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary of Micromachines)
Hydrogel-facilitated phase separation (HFPS) has recently been applied to make microstructured porous membranes by modified phase separation processes. In HFPS, a soft lithographically patterned hydrogel mold is used as a water content source that initiates the phase separation process in membrane fabrication. However, after each membrane casting, the hydrogel content changes due to the diffusion of organic solvent into the hydrogel from the original membrane solution. The absorption of solvent into the hydrogel mold limits the continuous use of the mold in repeated membrane casts. In this study, we investigated a simple treatment process for hydrogel mold recovery, consisting of warm and cold treatment steps to provide solvent extraction without changing the hydrogel mold integrity. The best recovery result was 96%, which was obtained by placing the hydrogel in a warm water bath (50 °C) for 10 min followed by immersing in a cold bath (23 °C) for 4 min and finally 4 min drying in air. This recovery was attributed to nearly complete solvent extraction without any deformation of the hydrogel structure. The reusability of hydrogel can assist in the development of a continuous membrane fabrication process using HFPS. View Full-Text
Keywords: membrane fabrication; soft lithography; hydrogel-facilitated phase separation; hydrogel mold; nanoporous membrane membrane fabrication; soft lithography; hydrogel-facilitated phase separation; hydrogel mold; nanoporous membrane
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MDPI and ACS Style

Asad, A.; Rastgar, M.; Nazaripoor, H.; Sadrzadeh, M.; Sameoto, D. Durability and Recoverability of Soft Lithographically Patterned Hydrogel Molds for the Formation of Phase Separation Membranes. Micromachines 2020, 11, 108. https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11010108

AMA Style

Asad A, Rastgar M, Nazaripoor H, Sadrzadeh M, Sameoto D. Durability and Recoverability of Soft Lithographically Patterned Hydrogel Molds for the Formation of Phase Separation Membranes. Micromachines. 2020; 11(1):108. https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11010108

Chicago/Turabian Style

Asad, Asad; Rastgar, Masoud; Nazaripoor, Hadi; Sadrzadeh, Mohtada; Sameoto, Dan. 2020. "Durability and Recoverability of Soft Lithographically Patterned Hydrogel Molds for the Formation of Phase Separation Membranes" Micromachines 11, no. 1: 108. https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11010108

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