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Micromachines, Volume 11, Issue 6 (June 2020) – 87 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) In this study, an alternative fan-out wafer-level packaging (FOWLP) concept implementing additively [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Highly Localized Enrichment of Trypanosoma brucei Parasites Using Dielectrophoresis
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060625 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 362
Abstract
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as sleeping sickness, is a vector-borne neglected tropical disease endemic to rural sub-Saharan Africa. Current methods of early detection in the affected rural communities generally begin with general screening using the card agglutination test for trypanosomiasis (CATT), [...] Read more.
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as sleeping sickness, is a vector-borne neglected tropical disease endemic to rural sub-Saharan Africa. Current methods of early detection in the affected rural communities generally begin with general screening using the card agglutination test for trypanosomiasis (CATT), a serological test. However, the gold standard for confirmation of trypanosomiasis remains the direct observation of the causative parasite, Trypanosoma brucei. Here, we present the use of dielectrophoresis (DEP) to enrich T. brucei parasites in specific locations to facilitate their identification in a future diagnostic assay. DEP refers to physical movement that can be selectively induced on the parasites when exposing them to electric field gradients of specific magnitude, phase and frequency. The long-term goal of our work is to use DEP to selectively trap and enrich T. brucei in specific locations while eluting all other cells in a sample. This would allow for a diagnostic test that enables the user to characterize the presence of parasites in specific locations determined a priori instead of relying on scanning a sample. In the work presented here, we report the characterization of the conditions that lead to high enrichment, 780% in 50 s, of the parasite in specific locations using an array of titanium microelectrodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micromachines for Dielectrophoresis)
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Open AccessReview
Recent Developments in Ozone Sensor Technology for Medical Applications
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 624; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060624 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 274
Abstract
There is increasing interest in the utilisation of medical gases, such as ozone, for the treatment of herniated disks, peripheral artery diseases, and chronic wounds, and for dentistry. Currently, the in situ measurement of the dissolved ozone concentration during the medical procedures in [...] Read more.
There is increasing interest in the utilisation of medical gases, such as ozone, for the treatment of herniated disks, peripheral artery diseases, and chronic wounds, and for dentistry. Currently, the in situ measurement of the dissolved ozone concentration during the medical procedures in human bodily liquids and tissues is not possible. Further research is necessary to enable the integration of ozone sensors in medical and bioanalytical devices. In the present review, we report selected recent developments in ozone sensor technology (2016–2020). The sensors are subdivided into ozone gas sensors and dissolved ozone sensors. The focus thereby lies upon amperometric and impedimetric as well as optical measurement methods. The progress made in various areas—such as measurement temperature, measurement range, response time, and recovery time—is presented. As inkjet-printing is a new promising technology for embedding sensors in medical and bioanalytical devices, the present review includes a brief overview of the current approaches of inkjet-printed ozone sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deformable Bioelectronics Based on Functional Micro/nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of a High-Density Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducer Array Based on Patterned Aluminum Nitride Thin Film
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 623; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060623 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 248
Abstract
This study presents the fabrication and characterization of a piezoelectric micromachined ultrasonic transducer (pMUT; radius: 40 µm) using a patterned aluminum nitride (AlN) thin film as the active piezoelectric material. A 20 × 20 array of pMUTs using a 1 µm thick AlN [...] Read more.
This study presents the fabrication and characterization of a piezoelectric micromachined ultrasonic transducer (pMUT; radius: 40 µm) using a patterned aluminum nitride (AlN) thin film as the active piezoelectric material. A 20 × 20 array of pMUTs using a 1 µm thick AlN thin film was designed and fabricated on a 2 × 2 mm2 footprint for a high fill factor. Based on the electrical impedance and phase of the pMUT array, the electromechanical coefficient was ~1.7% at the average resonant frequency of 2.82 MHz in air. Dynamic displacement of the pMUT surface was characterized by scanning laser Doppler vibrometry. The pressure output while immersed in water was 19.79 kPa when calculated based on the peak displacement at the resonant frequency. The proposed AlN pMUT array has potential applications in biomedical sensing for healthcare, medical imaging, and biometrics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the ICAE 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Efficient Acceleration of Stencil Applications through In-Memory Computing
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060622 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 216
Abstract
The traditional computer architectures severely suffer from the bottleneck between the processing elements and memory that is the biggest barrier in front of their scalability. Nevertheless, the amount of data that applications need to process is increasing rapidly, especially after the era of [...] Read more.
The traditional computer architectures severely suffer from the bottleneck between the processing elements and memory that is the biggest barrier in front of their scalability. Nevertheless, the amount of data that applications need to process is increasing rapidly, especially after the era of big data and artificial intelligence. This fact forces new constraints in computer architecture design towards more data-centric principles. Therefore, new paradigms such as in-memory and near-memory processors have begun to emerge to counteract the memory bottleneck by bringing memory closer to computation or integrating them. Associative processors are a promising candidate for in-memory computation, which combines the processor and memory in the same location to alleviate the memory bottleneck. One of the applications that need iterative processing of a huge amount of data is stencil codes. Considering this feature, associative processors can provide a paramount advantage for stencil codes. For demonstration, two in-memory associative processor architectures for 2D stencil codes are proposed, implemented by both emerging memristor and traditional SRAM technologies. The proposed architecture achieves a promising efficiency for a variety of stencil applications and thus proves its applicability for scientific stencil computing. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A mm-Sized Free-Floating Wireless Implantable Opto-Electro Stimulation Device
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060621 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 411
Abstract
Towards a distributed neural interface, consisting of multiple miniaturized implants, for interfacing with large-scale neuronal ensembles over large brain areas, this paper presents a mm-sized free-floating wirelessly-powered implantable opto-electro stimulation (FF-WIOS2) device equipped with 16-ch optical and 4-ch electrical stimulation for reconfigurable neuromodulation. [...] Read more.
Towards a distributed neural interface, consisting of multiple miniaturized implants, for interfacing with large-scale neuronal ensembles over large brain areas, this paper presents a mm-sized free-floating wirelessly-powered implantable opto-electro stimulation (FF-WIOS2) device equipped with 16-ch optical and 4-ch electrical stimulation for reconfigurable neuromodulation. The FF-WIOS2 is wirelessly powered and controlled through a 3-coil inductive link at 60 MHz. The FF-WIOS2 receives stimulation parameters via on-off keying (OOK) while sending its rectified voltage information to an external headstage for closed-loop power control (CLPC) via load-shift-keying (LSK). The FF-WIOS2 system-on-chip (SoC), fabricated in a 0.35-µm standard CMOS process, employs switched-capacitor-based stimulation (SCS) architecture to provide large instantaneous current needed for surpassing the optical stimulation threshold. The SCS charger charges an off-chip capacitor up to 5 V at 37% efficiency. At the onset of stimulation, the capacitor delivers charge with peak current in 1.7–12 mA range to a micro-LED (µLED) array for optical stimulation or 100–700 μA range to a micro-electrode array (MEA) for biphasic electrical stimulation. Active and passive charge balancing circuits are activated in electrical stimulation mode to ensure stimulation safety. In vivo experiments conducted on three anesthetized rats verified the efficacy of the two stimulation mechanisms. The proposed FF-WIOS2 is potentially a reconfigurable tool for performing untethered neuromodulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implantable Microdevices, Volume II)
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Open AccessArticle
Programmable µChopper Device with On-Chip Droplet Mergers for Continuous Assay Calibration
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060620 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 279
Abstract
While droplet-based microfluidics is a powerful technique with transformative applications, most devices are passively operated and thus have limited real-time control over droplet contents. In this report, an automated droplet-based microfluidic device with pneumatic pumps and salt water electrodes was developed to generate [...] Read more.
While droplet-based microfluidics is a powerful technique with transformative applications, most devices are passively operated and thus have limited real-time control over droplet contents. In this report, an automated droplet-based microfluidic device with pneumatic pumps and salt water electrodes was developed to generate and coalesce up to six aqueous-in-oil droplets (2.77 nL each). Custom control software combined six droplets drawn from any of four inlet reservoirs. Using our μChopper method for lock-in fluorescence detection, we first accomplished continuous linear calibration and quantified an unknown sample. Analyte-independent signal drifts and even an abrupt decrease in excitation light intensity were corrected in real-time. The system was then validated with homogeneous insulin immunoassays that showed a nonlinear response. On-chip droplet merging with antibody-oligonucleotide (Ab-oligo) probes, insulin standards, and buffer permitted the real-time calibration and correction of large signal drifts. Full calibrations (LODconc = 2 ng mL−1 = 300 pM; LODamt = 5 amol) required <1 min with merely 13.85 nL of Ab-oligo reagents, giving cost-savings 160-fold over the standard well-plate format while also automating the workflow. This proof-of-concept device—effectively a microfluidic digital-to-analog converter—is readily scalable to more droplets, and it is well-suited for the real-time automation of bioassays that call for expensive reagents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Droplet Microfluidics)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Mechanically Robust, Softening Shape Memory Polymer Probes for Intracortical Recording
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060619 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 248
Abstract
While intracortical microelectrode arrays (MEAs) may be useful in a variety of basic and clinical scenarios, their implementation is hindered by a variety of factors, many of which are related to the stiff material composition of the device. MEAs are often fabricated from [...] Read more.
While intracortical microelectrode arrays (MEAs) may be useful in a variety of basic and clinical scenarios, their implementation is hindered by a variety of factors, many of which are related to the stiff material composition of the device. MEAs are often fabricated from high modulus materials such as silicon, leaving devices vulnerable to brittle fracture and thus complicating device fabrication and handling. For this reason, polymer-based devices are being heavily investigated; however, their implementation is often difficult due to mechanical instability that requires insertion aids during implantation. In this study, we design and fabricate intracortical MEAs from a shape memory polymer (SMP) substrate that remains stiff at room temperature but softens to 20 MPa after implantation, therefore allowing the device to be implanted without aids. We demonstrate chronic recordings and electrochemical measurements for 16 weeks in rat cortex and show that the devices are robust to physical deformation, therefore making them advantageous for surgical implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microelectrode Arrays and Application to Medical Devices)
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Enumeration of Weakly Fluorescent CD4+ T-lymphocytes by Confining Cells in a Spinning Sample Cartridge with a Helical Minichannel
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060618 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 228
Abstract
The CD4 (cluster of differentiation 4) counting method is used to measure the number of CD4+ T-lymphocytes per microliter of blood and to evaluate the timing of the initiation of antiretroviral therapy as well as the effectiveness of treatment in patients with human [...] Read more.
The CD4 (cluster of differentiation 4) counting method is used to measure the number of CD4+ T-lymphocytes per microliter of blood and to evaluate the timing of the initiation of antiretroviral therapy as well as the effectiveness of treatment in patients with human immunodeficiency virus. We developed a three-dimensional helical minichannel-based sample cartridge in which a thread-like microgroove formed in the cylindrical surface and configured a particle-positioning and imaging system equipped with a single DC (direct current) motor that can be controlled by a smartphone application. Confinement and enrichment of CD4 cells within a sharp focal depth along the helical minichannel is accomplished by spinning the cylindrical sample cartridge at high speed before acquiring cell images and thus CD4+ cells with weak fluorescence intensity can be detected even in a channel much deeper than existing two-dimensional flat chambers without an autofocusing module. By detecting more cells in a larger sample volume, the accuracy of the CD4 cell count is improved by a factor of 5.8 with a channel of 500 μm depth and the precision is enhanced by a factor of 1.5 with a coefficient of variation of 2.6%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microsystems for Point-of-Care Testing)
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Open AccessArticle
Highly Integrated Elastic Island-Structured Printed Circuit Board with Controlled Young’s Modulus for Stretchable Electronics
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060617 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 211
Abstract
A stretchable printed circuit board (PCB), which is an essential component of next-generation electronic devices, should be highly stretchable even at high levels of integration, as well as durable under repetitive stretching and patternable. Herein, an island-structured stretchable PCB composed of materials with [...] Read more.
A stretchable printed circuit board (PCB), which is an essential component of next-generation electronic devices, should be highly stretchable even at high levels of integration, as well as durable under repetitive stretching and patternable. Herein, an island-structured stretchable PCB composed of materials with controlled Young’s modulus and viscosity by adding a reinforcing agent or controlling the degree of crosslinking is reported. Each material was fabricated with the most effective structures through a 3D printer. The PCB was able to stretch 71.3% even when highly integrated and was patterned so that various components could be mounted. When fully integrated, the stress applied to the mounted components was reduced by 99.9% even when stretched by over 70%. Consequently, a 4 × 4 array of capacitance sensors in a stretchable keypad demonstration using our PCB was shown to work, even at 50% stretching of the PCB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deformable Bioelectronics Based on Functional Micro/nanomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle
Wetting Properties of Transparent Anatase/Rutile Mixed Phase Glancing Angle Magnetron Sputtered Nano-TiO2 Films
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 616; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060616 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 203
Abstract
Transparent polycrystalline TiO2 thin films have been deposited on unheated glass substrates using RF reactive magnetron sputtering. Depositions were carried out at different glancing angles and with different total gas mixture pressures. The variation of these parameters affected the crystal phase composition [...] Read more.
Transparent polycrystalline TiO2 thin films have been deposited on unheated glass substrates using RF reactive magnetron sputtering. Depositions were carried out at different glancing angles and with different total gas mixture pressures. The variation of these parameters affected the crystal phase composition and the surface morphology. Depending on the glancing angle and the pressure, rutile, mixed anatase/ rutile and pure anatase were deposited at low substrate temperature. Both hydrophilic and hydrophobic TiO2 were obtained, exhibiting fast photoconversion to superhydrophilic upon UV irradiation. The effect of the materials physicochemical properties on the wettability and rate of the UV induced superhydrophilicity is evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-surfaces: Fabrication and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
The Mechanical and Physical Properties of 3D-Printed Materials Composed of ABS-ZnO Nanocomposites and ABS-ZnO Microcomposites
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 615; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060615 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 225
Abstract
In order to expand the mechanical and physical capabilities of 3D-printed structures fabricated via commercially available 3D printers, nanocomposite and microcomposite filaments were produced via melt extrusion, 3D-printed and evaluated. The scope of this work is to fabricate physically and mechanically improved nanocomposites [...] Read more.
In order to expand the mechanical and physical capabilities of 3D-printed structures fabricated via commercially available 3D printers, nanocomposite and microcomposite filaments were produced via melt extrusion, 3D-printed and evaluated. The scope of this work is to fabricate physically and mechanically improved nanocomposites or microcomposites for direct commercial or industrial implementation while enriching the existing literature with the methodology applied. Zinc Oxide nanoparticles (ZnO nano) and Zinc Oxide micro-sized particles (ZnO micro) were dispersed, in various concentrations, in Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) matrices and printable filament of ~1.75mm was extruded. The composite filaments were employed in a commercial 3D printer for tensile and flexion specimens’ production, according to international standards. Results showed a 14% increase in the tensile strength at 5% wt. concentration in both nanocomposite and microcomposite materials, when compared to pure ABS specimens. Furthermore, a 15.3% increase in the flexural strength was found in 0.5% wt. for ABS/ZnO nano, while an increase of 17% was found on 5% wt. ABS/ZnO micro. Comparing the two composites, it was found that the ABS/ZnO microcomposite structures had higher overall mechanical strength over ABS/ZnO nanostructures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Manufacturing Technology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Experimental Validation of Injection Molding Simulations of 3D Microparts and Microstructured Components Using Virtual Design of Experiments and Multi-Scale Modeling
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 614; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060614 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 411
Abstract
The increasing demand for micro-injection molding process technology and the corresponding micro-molded products have materialized in the need for models and simulation capabilities for the establishment of a digital twin of the manufacturing process. The opportunities enabled by the correct process simulation include [...] Read more.
The increasing demand for micro-injection molding process technology and the corresponding micro-molded products have materialized in the need for models and simulation capabilities for the establishment of a digital twin of the manufacturing process. The opportunities enabled by the correct process simulation include the possibility of forecasting the part quality and finding optimal process conditions for a given product. The present work displays further use of micro-injection molding process simulation for the prediction of feature dimensions and its optimization and microfeature replication behavior due to geometrical boundary effects. The current work focused on the micro-injection molding of three-dimensional microparts and of single components featuring microstructures. First, two virtual a studies were performed to predict the outer diameter of a micro-ring within an accuracy of 10 µm and the flash formation on a micro-component with mass a 0.1 mg. In the second part of the study, the influence of microstructure orientation on the filling time of a microcavity design section was investigated for a component featuring micro grooves with a 15 µm nominal height. Multiscale meshing was employed to model the replication of microfeatures in a range of 17–346 µm in a Fresnel lens product, allowing the prediction of the replication behavior of a microfeature at 91% accuracy. The simulations were performed using 3D modeling and generalized Navier–Stokes equations using a single multi-scale simulation approach. The current work shows the current potential and limitations in the use of micro-injection molding process simulations for the optimization of micro 3D-part and microstructured components. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Design Applicable 3D Microfluidic Functional Units Using 2D Topology Optimization with Length Scale Constraints
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060613 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 239
Abstract
Due to the limits of computational time and computer memory, topology optimization problems involving fluidic flow frequently use simplified 2D models. Extruded versions of the 2D optimized results typically comprise the 3D designs to be fabricated. In practice, the depth of the fabricated [...] Read more.
Due to the limits of computational time and computer memory, topology optimization problems involving fluidic flow frequently use simplified 2D models. Extruded versions of the 2D optimized results typically comprise the 3D designs to be fabricated. In practice, the depth of the fabricated flow channels is finite; the limited flow depth together with the no-slip condition potentially make the fluidic performance of the 3D model very different from that of the simplified 2D model. This discrepancy significantly limits the usefulness of performing topology optimization involving fluidic flow in 2D—at least if special care is not taken. Inspired by the electric circuit analogy method, we limit the widths of the microchannels in the 2D optimization process. To reduce the difference of fluidic performance between the 2D model and its 3D counterpart, we propose an applicable 2D optimization model, and ensure the manufacturability of the obtained layout, combinations of several morphology-mimicking filters impose maximum or minimum length scales on the solid phase or the fluidic phase. Two typical Lab-on-chip functional units, Tesla valve and fluidic channel splitter, are used to illustrate the validity of the proposed application of length scale control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization of Microfluidic Devices)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Tissue-Engineered Models for Glaucoma Research
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060612 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 318
Abstract
Glaucoma is a group of optic neuropathies characterized by the progressive degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Patients with glaucoma generally experience elevations in intraocular pressure (IOP), followed by RGC death, peripheral vision loss and eventually blindness. However, despite the substantial economic and [...] Read more.
Glaucoma is a group of optic neuropathies characterized by the progressive degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Patients with glaucoma generally experience elevations in intraocular pressure (IOP), followed by RGC death, peripheral vision loss and eventually blindness. However, despite the substantial economic and health-related impact of glaucoma-related morbidity worldwide, the surgical and pharmacological management of glaucoma is still limited to maintaining IOP within a normal range. This is in large part because the underlying molecular and biophysical mechanisms by which glaucomatous changes occur are still unclear. In the present review article, we describe current tissue-engineered models of the intraocular space that aim to advance the state of glaucoma research. Specifically, we critically evaluate and compare both 2D and 3D-culture models of the trabecular meshwork and nerve fiber layer, both of which are key players in glaucoma pathophysiology. Finally, we point out the need for novel organ-on-a-chip models of glaucoma that functionally integrate currently available 3D models of the retina and the trabecular outflow pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanobiology and Biologically Inspired Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
Pushing the Limits of Spatial Assay Resolution for Paper-Based Microfluidics Using Low-Cost and High-Throughput Pen Plotter Approach
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060611 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 210
Abstract
To transform from reactive to proactive healthcare, there is an increasing need for low-cost and portable assays to continuously perform health measurements. The paper-based analytical devices could be a potential fit for this need. To miniaturize the multiplex paper-based microfluidic analytical devices and [...] Read more.
To transform from reactive to proactive healthcare, there is an increasing need for low-cost and portable assays to continuously perform health measurements. The paper-based analytical devices could be a potential fit for this need. To miniaturize the multiplex paper-based microfluidic analytical devices and minimize reagent use, a fabrication method with high resolution along with low fabrication cost should be developed. Here, we present an approach that uses a desktop pen plotter and a high-resolution technical pen for plotting high-resolution patterns to fabricate miniaturized paper-based microfluidic devices with hundreds of detection zones to conduct different assays. In order to create a functional multiplex paper-based analytical device, the hydrophobic solution is patterned on the cellulose paper and the reagents are deposited in the patterned detection zones using the technical pens. We demonstrated the effect of paper substrate thickness on the resolution of patterns by investigating the resolution of patterns on a chromatography paper with altered effective thickness. As the characteristics of the cellulose paper substrate such as thickness, resolution, and homogeneity of pore structure affect the obtained patterning resolution, we used regenerated cellulose paper to fabricate detection zones with a diameter as small as 0.8 mm. Moreover, in order to fabricate a miniaturized multiplex paper-based device, we optimized packing of the detection zones. We also showed the capability of the presented method for fabrication of 3D paper-based microfluidic devices with hundreds of detection zones for conducting colorimetric assays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section D:Materials and Processing)
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Open AccessArticle
Mechanical Rupture-Based Antibacterial and Cell-Compatible ZnO/SiO2 Nanowire Structures Formed by Bottom-Up Approaches
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 610; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060610 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 251
Abstract
There are growing interests in mechanical rupture-based antibacterial surfaces with nanostructures that have little toxicity to cells around the surfaces; however, current surfaces are fabricated via top-down nanotechnologies, which presents difficulties to apply for bio-surfaces with hierarchal three-dimensional structures. Herein, we developed ZnO/SiO [...] Read more.
There are growing interests in mechanical rupture-based antibacterial surfaces with nanostructures that have little toxicity to cells around the surfaces; however, current surfaces are fabricated via top-down nanotechnologies, which presents difficulties to apply for bio-surfaces with hierarchal three-dimensional structures. Herein, we developed ZnO/SiO2 nanowire structures by using bottom-up approaches and demonstrated to show mechanical rupture-based antibacterial activity and compatibility with human cells. When Escherichia coli were cultured on the surface for 24 h, over 99% of the bacteria were inactivated, while more than 80% of HeLa cells that were cultured on the surface for 24 h were still alive. This is the first demonstration of mechanical rupture-based bacterial rupture via the hydrothermally synthesized nanowire structures with antibacterial activity and cell compatibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Nanofluidics)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Various Defects on 4H-SiC Schottky Diode Performance and Its Relation to Epitaxial Growth Conditions
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 609; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060609 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 252
Abstract
In this paper, the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) processing for 4H-SiC epilayer is investigated with particular emphasis on the defects and the noise properties. It is experimentally found that the process parameters of C/Si ratio strongly affect the surface roughness of epilayers and [...] Read more.
In this paper, the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) processing for 4H-SiC epilayer is investigated with particular emphasis on the defects and the noise properties. It is experimentally found that the process parameters of C/Si ratio strongly affect the surface roughness of epilayers and the density of triangular defects (TDs), while no direct correlation between the C/Si ratio and the deep level defect Z1/2 could be confirmed. By adjusting the C/Si ratio, a decrease of several orders of magnitudes in the noise level for the 4H-SiC Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs) could be achieved attributing to the improved epilayer quality with low TD density and low surface roughness. The work should provide a helpful clue for further improving the device performance of both the 4H-SiC SBDs and the Schottky barrier ultraviolet photodetectors fabricated on commercial 4H-SiC wafers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Microfluidic Droplet-Storage Array
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 608; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060608 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 259
Abstract
A microfluidic droplet-storage array that is capable of the continuous operation of droplet formation, storing, repositioning, retrieving, injecting and restoring is demonstrated. The microfluidic chip comprised four valve-assisted droplet generators and a 3 × 16 droplet-storage array. The integrated pneumatically actuated microvalves enable [...] Read more.
A microfluidic droplet-storage array that is capable of the continuous operation of droplet formation, storing, repositioning, retrieving, injecting and restoring is demonstrated. The microfluidic chip comprised four valve-assisted droplet generators and a 3 × 16 droplet-storage array. The integrated pneumatically actuated microvalves enable the precise control of aqueous phase dispensing, as well as carrier fluid flow path and direction for flexible manipulating water-in-oil droplets in the chip. The size of droplets formed by the valve-assisted droplet generators was validated under various operating conditions such as pressures for introducing solutions and dispensing time. In addition, flexible droplet addressing in the storage array was demonstrated by storing droplets with various numbers and compositions in different storage units as well as rearranging their stored positions. Moreover, serial injections of new droplets into a retrieved droplet from a storage unit was performed to show the potential of the platform in sequential dosing on incubated droplet-based reactors at the desired timeline. The droplet-storage array with great freedom and flexibility in droplet handling could be applied for performing complex chemical and biologic reactions, especially in which incubation and dosing steps are necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Droplet Microfluidics)
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Open AccessArticle
Acoustic Streaming Generated by Sharp Edges: The Coupled Influences of Liquid Viscosity and Acoustic Frequency
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060607 - 22 Jun 2020
Viewed by 304
Abstract
Acoustic streaming can be generated around sharp structures, even when the acoustic wavelength is much larger than the vessel size. This sharp-edge streaming can be relatively intense, owing to the strongly focused inertial effect experienced by the acoustic flow near the tip. We [...] Read more.
Acoustic streaming can be generated around sharp structures, even when the acoustic wavelength is much larger than the vessel size. This sharp-edge streaming can be relatively intense, owing to the strongly focused inertial effect experienced by the acoustic flow near the tip. We conducted experiments with particle image velocimetry to quantify this streaming flow through the influence of liquid viscosity ν , from 1 mm 2 /s to 30 mm 2 /s, and acoustic frequency f from 500 Hz to 3500 Hz. Both quantities supposedly influence the thickness of the viscous boundary layer δ = ν π f 1 / 2 . For all situations, the streaming flow appears as a main central jet from the tip, generating two lateral vortices beside the tip and outside the boundary layer. As a characteristic streaming velocity, the maximal velocity is located at a distance of δ from the tip, and it increases as the square of the acoustic velocity. We then provide empirical scaling laws to quantify the influence of ν and f on the streaming velocity. Globally, the streaming velocity is dramatically weakened by a higher viscosity, whereas the flow pattern and the disturbance distance remain similar regardless of viscosity. Besides viscosity, the frequency also strongly influences the maximal streaming velocity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustofluidics)
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Open AccessArticle
Environment-Sensitive Intelligent Self-Reproducing Artificial Cell with a Modification-Active Lipo-Deoxyribozyme
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 606; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060606 - 22 Jun 2020
Viewed by 337
Abstract
As a supramolecular micromachine with information flow, a giant vesicle (GV)-based artificial cell that exhibits a linked proliferation between GV reproduction and internal DNA amplification has been explored in this study. The linked proliferation is controlled by a complex consisting of GV membrane-intruded [...] Read more.
As a supramolecular micromachine with information flow, a giant vesicle (GV)-based artificial cell that exhibits a linked proliferation between GV reproduction and internal DNA amplification has been explored in this study. The linked proliferation is controlled by a complex consisting of GV membrane-intruded DNA with acidic amphiphilic catalysts, working overall as a lipo-deoxyribozyme. Here, we investigated how a GV-based artificial cell containing this lipo-deoxyribozyme responds to diverse external and internal environments, changing its proliferative dynamics. We observed morphological changes (phenotypic expression) in GVs induced by the addition of membrane precursors with different intervals of addition (starvation periods). First, we focused on a new phenotype, the “multiple tubulated” form, which emerged after a long starvation period. Compared to other forms, the multiple tubulated form is characterized by a larger membrane surface with a heavily cationic charge. A second consideration is the effect of the chain length of encapsulated DNA on competitive proliferation. The competitive proliferation among three different species of artificial cells containing different lengths of DNA was investigated. The results clearly showed a distinct intervention in the proliferation dynamics of the artificial cells with each other. In this sense, our GV-based artificial cell can be regarded as an intelligent supramolecular machine responding to external and internal environments, providing a new concept for developing molecular machines and robotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Molecular Machines and Molecular Robots)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization and Analysis of Metal Adhesion to Parylene Polymer Substrate Using Scotch Tape Test for Peripheral Neural Probe
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 605; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060605 - 22 Jun 2020
Viewed by 228
Abstract
This paper presents measurement and FEM (Finite Element Method) analysis of metal adhesion force to a parylene substrate for implantable neural probe. A test device composed of 300 nm-thick gold and 30 nm-thick titanium metal electrodes on top of parylene substrate was prepared. [...] Read more.
This paper presents measurement and FEM (Finite Element Method) analysis of metal adhesion force to a parylene substrate for implantable neural probe. A test device composed of 300 nm-thick gold and 30 nm-thick titanium metal electrodes on top of parylene substrate was prepared. The metal electrodes suffer from delamination during wet metal patterning process; thus, CF4 plasma treatment was applied to the parylene substrate before metal deposition. The two thin film metal layers were deposited by e-beam evaporation process. Metal electrodes had 200 μm in width, 300 μm spacing between the metal lines, and 5 mm length as the neural probe. Adhesion force of the metal lines to parylene substrate was measured with scotch tape test. Angle between the scotch tape and the test device substrate changed from 60° to 90° during characterization. Force exerted the scotch tape was recorded as the function of displacement of the scotch tape. It was found that a peak was created in measured force-displacement curve due to metal delamination. Metal adhesion was estimated 1.3 J/m2 by referring to the force peak and metal width at the force-displacement curve. Besides, the scotch tape test was simulated to comprehend delamination behavior of the test through FEM modeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS Packaging Technologies and 3D Integration)
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Color Enhanced Fluorescence Imaging of a Breast Cancer Cell with A Hole-Arrayed Plasmonic Chip
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 604; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060604 - 22 Jun 2020
Viewed by 299
Abstract
Breast cancer cells of MDA-MB-231 express various types of membrane proteins in the cell membrane. In this study, two types of membrane proteins in MDA-MB-231 cells were observed using a plasmonic chip with an epifluorescence microscope. The targeted membrane proteins were epithelial cell [...] Read more.
Breast cancer cells of MDA-MB-231 express various types of membrane proteins in the cell membrane. In this study, two types of membrane proteins in MDA-MB-231 cells were observed using a plasmonic chip with an epifluorescence microscope. The targeted membrane proteins were epithelial cell adhesion molecules (EpCAMs) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and Alexa®488-EGFR antibody and allophycocyanin (APC)-labeled EpCAM antibody were applied to the fluorescent detection. The plasmonic chip used in this study is composed of a two-dimensional hole-array structure, which is expected to enhance the fluorescence at different resonance wavelengths due to two kinds of grating pitches in a square side and a diagonal direction. As a result of multi-color imaging, the enhancement factor of Alexa®488-EGFR and APC-EpCAM was 13 ± 2 and 12 ± 2 times greater on the plasmonic chip, respectively. The excited wavelength or emission wavelength of each fluorescent agent is due to consistency with plasmon resonance wavelength in the hole-arrayed chip. The multi-color fluorescence images of breast cancer cells were improved by the hole-arrayed plasmonic chip. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro and Nano Devices for Cell Analysis)
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Open AccessReview
Droplet and Particle Generation on Centrifugal Microfluidic Platforms: A Review
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 603; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060603 - 22 Jun 2020
Viewed by 398
Abstract
The use of multiphase flows in microfluidics to carry dispersed phase material (droplets, particles, bubbles, or fibers) has many applications. In this review paper, we focus on such flows on centrifugal microfluidic platforms and present different methods of dispersed phase material generation. These [...] Read more.
The use of multiphase flows in microfluidics to carry dispersed phase material (droplets, particles, bubbles, or fibers) has many applications. In this review paper, we focus on such flows on centrifugal microfluidic platforms and present different methods of dispersed phase material generation. These methods are classified into three specific categories, i.e., step emulsification, crossflow, and dispenser nozzle. Previous works on these topics are discussed and related parameters and specifications, including the size, material, production rate, and rotational speed are explicitly mentioned. In addition, the associated theories and important dimensionless numbers are presented. Finally, we discuss the commercialization of these devices and show a comparison to unveil the pros and cons of the different methods so that researchers can select the centrifugal droplet/particle generation method which better suits their needs. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Editorial for the Special Issue on Particles Separation in Microfluidic Devices
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060602 - 22 Jun 2020
Viewed by 218
Abstract
The separation and sorting of micro- and nano-sized particles is an important step in chemical, biological, and medical analyses [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Particles Separation in Microfluidic Devices)
Open AccessEditorial
Editorial of Special Issue “Nanostructured Light-Emitters”
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 601; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060601 - 21 Jun 2020
Viewed by 253
Abstract
Significant progress has been made in the development of nanophotonic devices and the use of nanostructured materials for optoelectronic devices, including light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and laser diodes, has recently attracted tremendous attention due to the fact of their unique geometry [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Light-Emitters)
Open AccessArticle
Dynamically Tunable Phase Shifter with Commercial Graphene Nanoplatelets
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060600 - 20 Jun 2020
Viewed by 237
Abstract
In microwave frequency band the conductivity of graphene can be varied to design a number of tunable components. A tunable phase shifter based on commercial graphene nanoplatelets is introduced. The proposed configuration consists of a microstrip line with two stubs connected with a [...] Read more.
In microwave frequency band the conductivity of graphene can be varied to design a number of tunable components. A tunable phase shifter based on commercial graphene nanoplatelets is introduced. The proposed configuration consists of a microstrip line with two stubs connected with a taper. On each side of the stubs there is a gap, short circuited through a via, where the commercial graphene nanoplatelets are drop casted. By applying a DC bias voltage that alters the graphene resistance the phase of the transmitted signal through the microstrip line can be varied. In order to maximize the phase shift of the transmitted signal and minimize the insertion loss, the length of the taper and the stubs are optimized by the help of circuit model and full-wave simulations. A prototype working at 4GHz is fabricated and measured. A phase variation of 33 degrees is acquired with an amplitude variation of less than 0.4 dB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene based Electronic Devices)
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Open AccessReview
Evolution of Biochip Technology: A Review from Lab-on-a-Chip to Organ-on-a-Chip
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 599; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060599 - 18 Jun 2020
Viewed by 462
Abstract
Following the advancements in microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technologies, a novel biomedical application for microfluidic based devices has emerged in recent years and microengineered cell culture platforms have been created. These micro-devices, known as organ-on-a-chip (OOC) platforms mimic the in vivo like microenvironment [...] Read more.
Following the advancements in microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technologies, a novel biomedical application for microfluidic based devices has emerged in recent years and microengineered cell culture platforms have been created. These micro-devices, known as organ-on-a-chip (OOC) platforms mimic the in vivo like microenvironment of living organs and offer more physiologically relevant in vitro models of human organs. Consequently, the concept of OOC has gained great attention from researchers in the field worldwide to offer powerful tools for biomedical researches including disease modeling, drug development, etc. This review highlights the background of biochip development. Herein, we focus on applications of LOC devices as a versatile tool for POC applications. We also review current progress in OOC platforms towards body-on-a-chip, and we provide concluding remarks and future perspectives for OOC platforms for POC applications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mobility Models Based on Forward Current-Voltage Characteristics of P-type Pseudo-Vertical Diamond Schottky Barrier Diodes
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 598; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060598 - 18 Jun 2020
Viewed by 281
Abstract
Compared with silicon and silicon carbide, diamond has superior material parameters and is therefore suitable for power switching devices. Numerical simulation is important for predicting the electric characteristics of diamond devices before fabrication. Here, we present numerical simulations of p-type diamond pseudo-vertical Schottky [...] Read more.
Compared with silicon and silicon carbide, diamond has superior material parameters and is therefore suitable for power switching devices. Numerical simulation is important for predicting the electric characteristics of diamond devices before fabrication. Here, we present numerical simulations of p-type diamond pseudo-vertical Schottky barrier diodes using various mobility models. The constant mobility model, based on the parameter μconst, fixed the hole mobility absolutely. The analytic mobility model resulted in temperature- and doping concentration-dependent mobility. An improved model, the Lombard concentration, voltage, and temperature (CVT) mobility model, considered electric field-dependent mobility in addition to temperature and doping concentration. The forward voltage drop at 100 A/cm2 using the analytic and Lombard CVT mobility models was 2.86 and 5.17 V at 300 K, respectively. Finally, we used an empirical mobility model based on experimental results from the literature. We also compared the forward voltage drop and breakdown voltage of the devices, according to variations in p- drift layer thickness and cathode length. The device successfully achieved a low specific on-resistance of 6.8 mΩ∙cm2, a high breakdown voltage of 1190 V, and a high figure-of-merit of 210 MW/cm2. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Wireless E-Nose Sensors to Detect Volatile Organic Gases through Multivariate Analysis
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 597; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060597 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 274
Abstract
Gas sensors are critical components when adhering to health safety and environmental policies in various manufacturing industries, such as the petroleum and oil industry; scent and makeup production; food and beverage manufacturing; chemical engineering; pollution monitoring. In recent times, gas sensors have been [...] Read more.
Gas sensors are critical components when adhering to health safety and environmental policies in various manufacturing industries, such as the petroleum and oil industry; scent and makeup production; food and beverage manufacturing; chemical engineering; pollution monitoring. In recent times, gas sensors have been introduced to medical diagnostics, bioprocesses, and plant disease diagnosis processes. There could be an adverse impact on human health due to the mixture of various gases (e.g., acetone (A), ethanol (E), propane (P)) that vent out from industrial areas. Therefore, it is important to accurately detect and differentiate such gases. Towards this goal, this paper presents a novel electronic nose (e-nose) detection method to classify various explosive gases. To detect explosive gases, metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) sensors are used as reliable tools to detect such volatile gases. The data received from MOS sensors are processed through a multivariate analysis technique to classify different categories of gases. Multivariate analysis was done using three variants—differential, relative, and fractional analyses—in principal components analysis (PCA). The MOS sensors also have three different designs: loading design, notch design, and Bi design. The proposed MOS sensor-based e-nose accurately detects and classifies three different gases, which indicates the reliability and practicality of the developed system. The developed system enables discrimination of these gases from the mixture. Based on the results from the proposed system, authorities can take preventive measures to deal with these gases to avoid their potential adverse impacts on employee health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Wearable and Implants)
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Open AccessArticle
A Graphene/Polycrystalline Silicon Photodiode and Its Integration in a Photodiode–Oxide–Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 596; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060596 - 17 Jun 2020
Viewed by 299
Abstract
In recent years, the characteristics of the graphene/crystalline silicon junction have been frequently discussed in the literature, but study of the graphene/polycrystalline silicon junction and its potential applications is hardly found. The present work reports the observation of the electrical and optoelectronic characteristics [...] Read more.
In recent years, the characteristics of the graphene/crystalline silicon junction have been frequently discussed in the literature, but study of the graphene/polycrystalline silicon junction and its potential applications is hardly found. The present work reports the observation of the electrical and optoelectronic characteristics of a graphene/polycrystalline silicon junction and explores one possible usage of the junction. The current–voltage curve of the junction was measured to show the typical exponential behavior that can be seen in a forward biased diode, and the photovoltage of the junction showed a logarithmic dependence on light intensity. A new phototransistor named the “photodiode–oxide–semiconductor field effect transistor (PDOSFET)” was further proposed and verified in this work. In the PDOSFET, a graphene/polycrystalline silicon photodiode was directly merged on top of the gate oxide of a conventional metal–oxide–semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET). The magnitude of the channel current of this phototransistor showed a logarithmic dependence on the illumination level. It is shown in this work that the PDOSFET facilitates a better pixel design in a complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor, especially beneficial for high dynamic range (HDR) image detection. Full article
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