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Micromachines, Volume 7, Issue 11 (November 2016) – 19 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) In the process of Microfluidic prototyping, photomask is regarded as an essential step to achieve [...] Read more.
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Microfluidic Mixing and Analog On-Chip Concentration Control Using Fluidic Dielectrophoresis
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110214 - 23 Nov 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1830
Abstract
Microfluidic platforms capable of complex on-chip processing and liquid handling enable a wide variety of sensing, cellular, and material-related applications across a spectrum of disciplines in engineering and biology. However, there is a general lack of available active microscale mixing methods capable of [...] Read more.
Microfluidic platforms capable of complex on-chip processing and liquid handling enable a wide variety of sensing, cellular, and material-related applications across a spectrum of disciplines in engineering and biology. However, there is a general lack of available active microscale mixing methods capable of dynamically controlling on-chip solute concentrations in real-time. Hence, multiple microfluidic fluid handling steps are often needed for applications that require buffers at varying on-chip concentrations. Here, we present a novel electrokinetic method for actively mixing laminar fluids and controlling on-chip concentrations in microfluidic channels using fluidic dielectrophoresis. Using a microfluidic channel junction, we co-flow three electrolyte streams side-by-side so that two outer conductive streams enclose a low conductive central stream. The tri-laminar flow is driven through an array of electrodes where the outer streams are electrokinetically deflected and forced to mix with the central flow field. This newly mixed central flow is then sent continuously downstream to serve as a concentration boundary condition for a microfluidic gradient chamber. We demonstrate that by actively mixing the upstream fluids, a variable concentration gradient can be formed dynamically downstream with single a fixed inlet concentration. This novel mixing approach offers a useful method for producing variable on-chip concentrations from a single inlet source. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-Chip Electrokinetics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
A Y-Shaped Microfluidic Device to Study the Combined Effect of Wall Shear Stress and ATP Signals on Intracellular Calcium Dynamics in Vascular Endothelial Cells
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110213 - 23 Nov 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2305
Abstract
The intracellular calcium dynamics in vascular endothelial cells (VECs) in response to wall shear stress (WSS) and/or adenosine triphosphate (ATP) have been commonly regarded as an important factor in regulating VEC function and behavior including proliferation, migration and apoptosis. However, the effects of [...] Read more.
The intracellular calcium dynamics in vascular endothelial cells (VECs) in response to wall shear stress (WSS) and/or adenosine triphosphate (ATP) have been commonly regarded as an important factor in regulating VEC function and behavior including proliferation, migration and apoptosis. However, the effects of time-varying ATP signals have been usually neglected in the past investigations in the field of VEC mechanobiology. In order to investigate the combined effects of WSS and dynamic ATP signals on the intracellular calcium dynamic in VECs, a Y-shaped microfluidic device, which can provide the cultured cells on the bottom of its mixing micro-channel with stimuli of WSS signal alone and different combinations of WSS and ATP signals in one single micro-channel, is proposed. Both numerical simulation and experimental studies verify the feasibility of its application. Cellular experimental results also suggest that a combination of WSS and ATP signals rather than a WSS signal alone might play a more significant role in VEC Ca2+ signal transduction induced by blood flow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights and Advancements in Microfluidics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Automatic Path Tracking and Target Manipulation of a Magnetic Microrobot
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110212 - 23 Nov 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1800
Abstract
Recently, wireless controlled microrobots have been studied because of their great development prospects in the biomedical field. Electromagnetic microrobots have the advantages of control agility and good precision, and thus, have received much attention. Most of the control methods for controlling a magnetic [...] Read more.
Recently, wireless controlled microrobots have been studied because of their great development prospects in the biomedical field. Electromagnetic microrobots have the advantages of control agility and good precision, and thus, have received much attention. Most of the control methods for controlling a magnetic microrobot use manual operation. Compared to the manual method, the automatic method will increase the accuracy and stability of locomotion and manipulation of microrobots. In this paper, we propose an electromagnetic manipulation system for automatically controlling the locomotion and manipulation of microrobots. The microrobot can be automatically controlled to track various paths by using visual feedback with an expert control algorithm. A positioning accuracy test determined that the position error ranges from 92 to 293 μm, which is less than the body size (600 μm) of the microrobot. The velocity of the microrobot is nearly proportional to the applied current in the coils, and can reach 5 mm/s. As a micromanipulation tool, the microrobot is used to manipulate microspheres and microgears with the automatic control method. The results verify that the microrobot can drag, place, and drive the microstructures automatically with high precision. The microrobot is expected to be a delicate micromachine that could play its role in microfluidics and blood vessels, where conventional instruments are hard to reach. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Interference-Assisted Thermal Bonding Method for the Fabrication of Thermoplastic Microfluidic Devices
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110211 - 22 Nov 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1510
Abstract
Solutions for the bonding and sealing of micro-channels in the manufacturing process of microfluidic devices are limited; therefore, further technical developments are required to determine these solutions. In this study, a new bonding method for thermoplastic microfluidic devices was developed by combining an [...] Read more.
Solutions for the bonding and sealing of micro-channels in the manufacturing process of microfluidic devices are limited; therefore, further technical developments are required to determine these solutions. In this study, a new bonding method for thermoplastic microfluidic devices was developed by combining an interference fit with a thermal treatment at low pressure. This involved a process of first injection molding thermoplastic substrates with a microchannel structure, and then performing bonding experiments at different bonding conditions. The results indicated the successful bonding of microchannels over a wide range of bonding pressures with the help of the interference fit. The study also determined additional advantages of the proposed bonding method by comparing the method with the conventional thermal bonding method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights and Advancements in Microfluidics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
One-Dimensional Thermal Analysis of the Flexible Electronic Devices Integrated with Human Skin
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110210 - 18 Nov 2016
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1859
Abstract
A one-dimensional analytic thermal model for the flexible electronic devices integrated with human skin under a constant and pulsed power is developed. The Fourier heat conduction equation is adopted for the flexible electronics devices while the Pennes bio-heat transfer equation is adopted for [...] Read more.
A one-dimensional analytic thermal model for the flexible electronic devices integrated with human skin under a constant and pulsed power is developed. The Fourier heat conduction equation is adopted for the flexible electronics devices while the Pennes bio-heat transfer equation is adopted for the skin tissue. Finite element analysis is performed to validate the analytic model through the comparison of temperature distributions in the system. The influences of geometric and loading parameters on the temperature increase under a pulsed power are investigated. It is shown that a small duty cycle can reduce the temperature increase of the system effectively. A thin substrate can reduce the device temperature but increase the skin surface temperature. The results presented may be helpful to optimize the design of flexible electronic devices to reduce the adverse thermal influences in bio-integrated applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flexible and Stretchable Electronics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
3C-Silicon Carbide Microresonators for Timing and Frequency Reference
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110208 - 15 Nov 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2148
Abstract
In the drive to miniaturise and integrate reference oscillator components, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) resonators are excellent candidates to replace quartz crystals. Silicon is the most utilised resonator structural material due to its associated well-established fabrication processes. However, when operation in harsh environments is [...] Read more.
In the drive to miniaturise and integrate reference oscillator components, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) resonators are excellent candidates to replace quartz crystals. Silicon is the most utilised resonator structural material due to its associated well-established fabrication processes. However, when operation in harsh environments is required, cubic silicon carbide (3C-SiC) is an excellent candidate for use as a structural material, due to its robustness, chemical inertness and high temperature stability. In order to actuate 3C-SiC resonators, electrostatic, electrothermal and piezoelectric methods have been explored. Both electrothermal and piezoelectric actuation can be accomplished with simpler fabrication and lower driving voltages, down to 0.5 V, compared to electrostatic actuation. The vibration amplitude at resonance can be maximised by optimising the design and location of the electrodes. Electrical read out of the resonator can be performed with electrostatic or piezoelectric transduction. Finally, a great deal of research has focused on tuning the resonant frequency of a 3C-SiC resonator by adjusting the DC bias applied to the electrodes, with a higher (up to 160-times) tuning range for electrothermal tuning compared to piezoelectric tuning. Electrothermal tuning lowers the frequency, while piezoelectric tuning can be used to raise the frequency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SiC-Based Microsystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Precision Position Control of a Voice Coil Motor Using Self-Tuning Fractional Order Proportional-Integral-Derivative Control
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110207 - 15 Nov 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2536
Abstract
The object of this study is to develop a self-tuning fractional order proportional-integral-derivative (SFOPID) controller for controlling the mover position of a direct drive linear voice coil motor (VCM) accurately under different operational conditions. The fractional order proportional-integral-derivative (FOPID) controller can improve the [...] Read more.
The object of this study is to develop a self-tuning fractional order proportional-integral-derivative (SFOPID) controller for controlling the mover position of a direct drive linear voice coil motor (VCM) accurately under different operational conditions. The fractional order proportional-integral-derivative (FOPID) controller can improve the control performances of the conventional integer order PID controller with respect to the additional fractional differential and integral orders; however, choosing five interdependent control parameters including proportional, integral, and derivative gains, as well as fractional differential and integral orders appropriately is arduous in practical applications. In this regard, the SFOPID controller is proposed in which the five control parameters are optimized dynamically and concurrently according to an adaptive differential evolution algorithm with a high efficiency adaptive selection mechanism. Experimental results reveal that the SFOPID controller outperforms PID and FOPID controllers with regard to the nonlinear VCM control system under both nominal and payload conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Power Generation by Reverse Electrodialysis in a Microfluidic Device with a Nafion Ion-Selective Membrane
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110205 - 10 Nov 2016
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2139
Abstract
An energy conversion microchip consisting of two circular microchambers and a Nafion-filled microchannel is fabricated using standard micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) techniques. When the chambers are filled with KCl solutions with different concentrations, the Nafion microchannel acts as a cation-selective membrane and results in [...] Read more.
An energy conversion microchip consisting of two circular microchambers and a Nafion-filled microchannel is fabricated using standard micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) techniques. When the chambers are filled with KCl solutions with different concentrations, the Nafion microchannel acts as a cation-selective membrane and results in the generation of electrical power through a reverse electrodialysis (RED) process. The current-potential characteristics of the Nafion membrane are investigated for devices with various microchannel lengths and electrolyte concentration ratios. It is shown that for a given voltage, the current and generated power increase with a reducing channel length due to a lower resistance. In addition, a maximum power density of 755 mW/m2 is obtained given an electrolyte concentration ratio of 2000:1 (unit is mM). The optimal device efficiency is found to be 36% given a channel length of 1 mm and a concentration ratio of 1000:1 (mM). Finally, no enhancement of the short circuit current is observed at higher concentration ratios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-Chip Electrokinetics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Electro-Deformation of Fused Cells in a Microfluidic Array Device
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110204 - 09 Nov 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1845
Abstract
We present a new method of analyzing the deformability of fused cells in a microfluidic array device. Electrical stresses—generated by applying voltages (4–20 V) across discrete co-planar microelectrodes along the side walls of a microfluidic channel—have been used to electro-deform fused and unfused [...] Read more.
We present a new method of analyzing the deformability of fused cells in a microfluidic array device. Electrical stresses—generated by applying voltages (4–20 V) across discrete co-planar microelectrodes along the side walls of a microfluidic channel—have been used to electro-deform fused and unfused stem cells. Under an electro-deformation force induced by applying an alternating current (AC) signal, we observed significant electro-deformation phenomena. The experimental results show that the fused stem cells were stiffer than the unfused stem cells at a relatively low voltage (<16 V). However, at a relatively high voltage, the fused stem cells were more easily deformed than were the unfused stem cells. In addition, the electro-deformation process is modeled based on the Maxwell stress tensor and structural mechanics of cells. The theoretical results show that a positive correlation is found between the deformation of the cell and the applied voltage, which is consistent with the experimental results. Combined with a numerical analysis and experimental study, the results showed that the significant difference of the deformation ratio of the fused and unfused cells is not due to their size difference. This demonstrates that some other properties of cell membranes (such as the membrane structure) were also changed in the electrofusion process, in addition to the size modification of that process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-Chip Electrokinetics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
UV Light–Induced Aggregation of Titania Submicron Particles
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110203 - 08 Nov 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1822
Abstract
In this study, aggregation of TiO2 (rutile and anatase) submicron particles in deionized (DI) water under ultra-violet (UV) light irradiation was investigated. While no aggregation was observed in the dark, rutile and anatase submicron particles started aggregating upon application of UV light [...] Read more.
In this study, aggregation of TiO2 (rutile and anatase) submicron particles in deionized (DI) water under ultra-violet (UV) light irradiation was investigated. While no aggregation was observed in the dark, rutile and anatase submicron particles started aggregating upon application of UV light and ceased aggregation in about 2 and 8.4 h, respectively. It has been demonstrated that UV light directly mitigated the particle mobility of TiO2, resulting in a neutralization effect of the Zeta potential. It was also observed that rutile particles aggregated much faster than anatase particles under UV radiation, indicating that the Zeta potential of as-prepared rutile is less than that of anatase in deionized (DI) water. In addition, the interaction energy of rutile and anatase particles was simulated using the Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek (DLVO) model. The results showed a significant reduction of barrier energy from 118.2 kBT to 33.6 kBT for rutile and from 333.5 kBT to 46.1 kBT for anatase, respectively, which further validated the remarkable influence of UV irradiation on the aggregation kinetics of rutile and anatase submicron particles. This work presents a further understanding of the aggregation mechanism of light-controlled submicron particles and has a promising potential application in environmental remediation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-Chip Electrokinetics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
A Rapid Prototyping Technique for Microfluidics with High Robustness and Flexibility
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110201 - 08 Nov 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2278
Abstract
In microfluidic device prototyping, master fabrication by traditional photolithography is expensive and time-consuming, especially when the design requires being repeatedly modified to achieve a satisfactory performance. By introducing a high-performance/cost-ratio laser to the traditional soft lithography, this paper describes a flexible and rapid [...] Read more.
In microfluidic device prototyping, master fabrication by traditional photolithography is expensive and time-consuming, especially when the design requires being repeatedly modified to achieve a satisfactory performance. By introducing a high-performance/cost-ratio laser to the traditional soft lithography, this paper describes a flexible and rapid prototyping technique for microfluidics. An ultraviolet (UV) laser directly writes on the photoresist without a photomask, which is suitable for master fabrication. By eliminating the constraints of fixed patterns in the traditional photomask when the masters are made, this prototyping technique gives designers/researchers the convenience to revise or modify their designs iteratively. A device fabricated by this method is tested for particle separation and demonstrates good properties. This technique provides a flexible and rapid solution to fabricating microfluidic devices for non-professionals at relatively low cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Laser Micromachining and Microfabrication)
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Open AccessArticle
Fluid Micro-Reservoirs Array Design with Auto-Pressure Regulation for High-Speed 3D Printers
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110202 - 07 Nov 2016
Viewed by 1402
Abstract
Three dimensional (3D) printing technology is rapidly evolving such that printing speed is now a crucial factor in technological developments and future applications. For printing heads based on the inkjet concept, the number of nozzles on the print head is a limiting factor [...] Read more.
Three dimensional (3D) printing technology is rapidly evolving such that printing speed is now a crucial factor in technological developments and future applications. For printing heads based on the inkjet concept, the number of nozzles on the print head is a limiting factor of printing speed. This paper offers a method to practically increase the number of nozzles unlimitedly, and thus to dramatically ramp up printing speed. Fluid reservoirs are used in inkjet print heads to supply fluid through a manifold to the jetting chambers. The pressure in the reservoir’s outlet is important and influences device performance. Many efforts have been made to regulate pressure inside the fluid reservoirs so as to obtain a constant pressure in the chambers. When the number of nozzles is increased too much, the regulation of uniform pressure among all the nozzles becomes too complicated. In this paper, a different approach is taken. The reservoir is divided into an array of many micro-reservoirs. Each micro-reservoir supports one or a few chambers, and has a unique structure with auto-pressure regulation, where the outlet pressure is independent of the fluid level. The regulation is based on auto-compensation of the gravity force and a capillary force having the same dependence on the fluid level; this feature is obtained by adding a wedge in the reservoir with a unique shape. When the fluid level drops, the gravitational force and the capillary force decrease with it, but at similar rates. Terms for the force balance are derived and, consequently, a constant pressure in the fluid micro-reservoir segment is obtained automatically, with each segment being autonomous. This micro reservoir array is suggested for the enlargement of an inkjet print head and the achievement of high-speed 3D printing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing: Microfabrication and Emerging Concepts)
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Open AccessArticle
Electrothermal Actuators for SiO2 Photonic MEMS
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110200 - 07 Nov 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2530
Abstract
This paper describes the design, fabrication and characterization of electrothermal bimorph actuators consisting of polysilicon on top of thick (>10 μ m ) silicon dioxide beams. This material platform enables the integration of actuators with photonic waveguides, producing mechanically-flexible photonic waveguide structures that [...] Read more.
This paper describes the design, fabrication and characterization of electrothermal bimorph actuators consisting of polysilicon on top of thick (>10 μ m ) silicon dioxide beams. This material platform enables the integration of actuators with photonic waveguides, producing mechanically-flexible photonic waveguide structures that are positionable. These structures are explored as part of a novel concept for highly automated, sub-micrometer precision chip-to-chip alignment. In order to prevent residual stress-induced fracturing that is associated with the release of thick oxide structures from a silicon substrate, a special reinforcement method is applied to create suspended silicon dioxide beam structures. The characterization includes measurements of the post-release deformation (i.e., without actuation), as well as the deflection resulting from quasi-static and dynamic actuation. The post-release deformation reveals a curvature, resulting in the free ends of 800 μ m long silicon dioxide beams with 5 μ m-thick polysilicon to be situated approximately 80 μ m above the chip surface. Bimorph actuators that are 800 μ m in length produce an out-of-plane deflection of approximately 11 μ m at 60 mW dissipated power, corresponding to an estimated 240 C actuator temperature. The delivered actuation force of the 800 μ m-long bimorph actuators having 5 μ m-thick polysilicon is calculated to be approximately 750 μN at 120 mW . Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Microfluidic Paper-Based Sample Concentration Using Ion Concentration Polarization with Smartphone Detection
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110199 - 04 Nov 2016
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2790
Abstract
A simple method for microfluidic paper-based sample concentration using ion concentration polarization (ICP) with smartphone detection is developed. The concise and low-cost microfluidic paper-based ICP analytical device, which consists of a black backing layer, a nitrocellulose membrane, and two absorbent pads, is fabricated [...] Read more.
A simple method for microfluidic paper-based sample concentration using ion concentration polarization (ICP) with smartphone detection is developed. The concise and low-cost microfluidic paper-based ICP analytical device, which consists of a black backing layer, a nitrocellulose membrane, and two absorbent pads, is fabricated with the simple lamination method which is widely used for lateral flow strips. Sample concentration on the nitrocellulose membrane is monitored in real time by a smartphone whose camera is used to collect the fluorescence images from the ICP device. A custom image processing algorithm running on the smartphone is used to track the concentrated sample and obtain its fluorescence signal intensity for quantitative analysis. Two different methods for Nafion coating are evaluated and their performances are compared. The characteristics of the ICP analytical device especially with intentionally adjusted physical properties are fully evaluated to optimize its performance as well as to extend its potential applications. Experimental results show that significant concentration enhancement with fluorescence dye sample is obtained with the developed ICP device when a fast depletion of fluorescent dye is observed. The platform based on the simply laminated ICP device with smartphone detection is desired for point-of-care testing in settings with poor resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-Chip Electrokinetics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
A New Microfluidic Device for Classification of Microalgae Cells Based on Simultaneous Analysis of Chlorophyll Fluorescence, Side Light Scattering, Resistance Pulse Sensing
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110198 - 02 Nov 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1622
Abstract
Fast on-site monitoring of foreign microalgae species carried by ship ballast water has drawn more and more attention. In this paper, we presented a new method and a compact device of classification of microalgae cells by simultaneous detection of three kinds of signals [...] Read more.
Fast on-site monitoring of foreign microalgae species carried by ship ballast water has drawn more and more attention. In this paper, we presented a new method and a compact device of classification of microalgae cells by simultaneous detection of three kinds of signals of single microalgae cells in a disposable microfluidic chip. The microfluidic classification device has advantages of fast detection, low cost, and portability. The species of a single microalgae cell can be identified by simultaneous detection of three signals of chlorophyll fluorescence (CF), side light scattering (SLS), and resistance pulse sensing (RPS) of the microalgae cell. These three signals represent the different characteristics of a microalgae cell. A compact device was designed to detect these three signals of a microalgae cell simultaneously. In order to demonstrate the performance of the developed system, the comparison experiments of the mixed samples of three different species of microalgae cells between the developed system and a commercial flow cytometer were conducted. The results show that three kinds of microalgae cells can be distinguished clearly by our developed system and the commercial flow cytometer and both results have good agreement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-Chip Electrokinetics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
A Fuzzy Adaptive Tightly-Coupled Integration Method for Mobile Target Localization Using SINS/WSN
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110197 - 02 Nov 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1386
Abstract
In recent years, mobile target localization for enclosed environments has been a growing interest. In this paper, we have proposed a fuzzy adaptive tightly-coupled integration (FATCI) method for positioning and tracking applications using strapdown inertial navigation system (SINS) and wireless sensor network (WSN). [...] Read more.
In recent years, mobile target localization for enclosed environments has been a growing interest. In this paper, we have proposed a fuzzy adaptive tightly-coupled integration (FATCI) method for positioning and tracking applications using strapdown inertial navigation system (SINS) and wireless sensor network (WSN). The wireless signal outage and severe multipath propagation of WSN often influence the accuracy of measured distance and lead to difficulties with the WSN positioning. Note also that the SINS are known for their drifted error over time. Using as a base the well-known loosely-coupled integration method, we have built a tightly-coupled integrated positioning system for SINS/WSN based on the measured distances between anchor nodes and mobile node. The measured distance value of WSN is corrected with a least squares regression (LSR) algorithm, with the aim of decreasing the systematic error for measured distance. Additionally, the statistical covariance of measured distance value is used to adjust the observation covariance matrix of a Kalman filter using a fuzzy inference system (FIS), based on the statistical characteristics. Then the tightly-coupled integration model can adaptively adjust the confidence level for measurement according to the different measured accuracies of distance measurements. Hence the FATCI system is achieved using SINS/WSN. This innovative approach is verified in real scenarios. Experimental results show that the proposed positioning system has better accuracy and stability compared with the loosely-coupled and traditional tightly-coupled integration model for WSN short-term failure or normal conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Dewetting Model for Double-Emulsion Droplets
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110196 - 01 Nov 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2263
Abstract
The evolution of double-emulsion droplets is of great importance for the application of microdroplets and microparticles. We study the driving force of the dewetting process, the equilibrium configuration and the dewetting time of double-emulsion droplets. Through energy analysis, we find that the equilibrium [...] Read more.
The evolution of double-emulsion droplets is of great importance for the application of microdroplets and microparticles. We study the driving force of the dewetting process, the equilibrium configuration and the dewetting time of double-emulsion droplets. Through energy analysis, we find that the equilibrium configuration of a partial engulfed droplet depends on a dimensionless interfacial tension determined by the three relevant interfacial tensions, and the engulfing part of the inner phase becomes larger as the volume of the outer phase increases. By introducing a dewetting boundary, the dewetting time can be calculated by balancing the driving force, caused by interfacial tensions, and the viscous force. Without considering the momentum change of the continuous phase, the dewetting time is an increasing function against the viscosity of the outer phase and the volume ratio between the outer phase and inner phase. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Tunable Particle Focusing in a Straight Channel with Symmetric Semicircle Obstacle Arrays Using Electrophoresis-Modified Inertial Effects
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110195 - 01 Nov 2016
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1660
Abstract
In this work, a novel microfluidic platform for tunable particle focusing in a straight channel with symmetric semicircle obstacle arrays using electrophoresis (EP)-modified inertial effects was presented. By exerting an EP force on the charged microparticles, a relative velocity gap between microspheres and [...] Read more.
In this work, a novel microfluidic platform for tunable particle focusing in a straight channel with symmetric semicircle obstacle arrays using electrophoresis (EP)-modified inertial effects was presented. By exerting an EP force on the charged microparticles, a relative velocity gap between microspheres and fluid in a straight channel with symmetric semicircle obstacle arrays was implemented. The relative velocity and fluid shear will induce shear-slip lift force (Saffman lift force) perpendicular to the mainstream direction. Therefore, the focusing pattern can be altered using the electrophoresis-induced Saffman force. The effects of electric field direction, flow rate, electric field magnitude, and particle size were also studied. This demonstrates the possibility of adjusting the particle inertial focusing pattern in a straight channel with with symmetric semicircle obstacle arrays using electrophoresis. Manipulation of the lateral migration of focusing streaks increases controllability in applications such as blood cell filtration and the separation of cells by size. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-Chip Electrokinetics) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Acoustically Triggered Disassembly of Multilayered Polyelectrolyte Thin Films through Gigahertz Resonators for Controlled Drug Release Applications
Micromachines 2016, 7(11), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi7110194 - 01 Nov 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1781
Abstract
Controlled drug release has a high priority for the development of modern medicine and biochemistry. To develop a versatile method for controlled release, a miniaturized acoustic gigahertz (GHz) resonator is designed and fabricated which can transfer electric supply to mechanical vibrations. By contacting [...] Read more.
Controlled drug release has a high priority for the development of modern medicine and biochemistry. To develop a versatile method for controlled release, a miniaturized acoustic gigahertz (GHz) resonator is designed and fabricated which can transfer electric supply to mechanical vibrations. By contacting with liquid, the GHz resonator directly excites streaming flows and induces physical shear stress to tear the multilayered polyelectrolyte (PET) thin films. Due to the ultra-high working frequency, the shear stress is greatly intensified, which results in a controlled disassembling of the PET thin films. This technique is demonstrated as an effective method to trigger and control the drug release. Both theory analysis and controlled release experiments prove the thin film destruction and the drug release. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of BioMEMS and Their Applications)
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