Special Issue "3D Printed Microfluidic Devices and Its Applications"

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "D:Materials and Processing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Rosanne M. Guijt Website E-Mail
Centre for Regional and Rural Futures, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Interests: miniaturised total analysis system (µTAS); lab on a chip; microfluidics; 3D printing; functional integration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, 3D printing has developed rapidly, driven by the exponential growth in consumer demand for cost-effective, customised manufacturing options. Consumers can access 3D printing using online 3D printing services and the rapid rise in high quality consumer-grade 3D printers. 3D printing has also been adopted in scientific research for the manufacturing of customised parts and as an alternative microfabrication approach. The focus of this Special Issue is on insights and advancements of 3D printing in microfabrication, with a focus on the developments that have allowed for the fabrication of micro-and millifluidic devices to replace processes ordinarily executed on the laboratory bench. Of special interest are devices that show advanced functionality through the use of 3D design and/or material science, and advances that improved biocompatibility. In addition to the dissemination of technological breakthroughs of original work in the form of short communications and full papers, emerging investigators and pioneers are also invited to contribute commentaries, perspectives and insightful reviews on related topics.

Prof. Rosanne M. Guijt
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • 3D printing
  • Microfluidics
  • Lab on a chip
  • Functional integration
  • High resolution
  • Material science

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
A Nontoxic Battery with 3D-Printed Housing for On-Demand Operation of Microcontrollers in Microfluidic Sensors
Micromachines 2019, 10(9), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10090588 - 04 Sep 2019
Abstract
Microcontrollers have a low energy consumption and are convenient tools for the operation and readout of small lab-on-a-chip devices. The operation of microcontrollers for data collection and analysis is key for measurements and statistics in field experiments. However, for portable lab-on-a-chip or point-of-care [...] Read more.
Microcontrollers have a low energy consumption and are convenient tools for the operation and readout of small lab-on-a-chip devices. The operation of microcontrollers for data collection and analysis is key for measurements and statistics in field experiments. However, for portable lab-on-a-chip or point-of-care systems in low-resource settings, the availability of energy sources is a bottleneck. Here, we present a simple, nontoxic aluminum/air redox battery with a 3D-printed housing for on-demand operation of a sensor using a microcontroller for data collection. The battery is stored in a dry state and can be manufactured conveniently using off-the-shelf components and a simple 3D printer. It can be quickly assembled and operates a microcontroller for at least one hour in continuous operation mode. We demonstrate its performance by collecting data from a capacitive sensor capable of determining the conductivity of liquid samples. Such sensors can be used for, e.g., determining the water quality or phase formation in liquid mixtures. The sensor performance in determining different conductivities of nonconductive and conductive liquids in droplets is demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printed Microfluidic Devices and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
3D Printing of Elastic Membranes for Fluidic Pumping and Demonstration of Reciprocation Inserts on the Microfluidic Disc
Micromachines 2019, 10(8), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10080549 - 19 Aug 2019
Abstract
While 3D printing is increasingly used in most fields of engineering, its utilization for microfluidics has thus far been limited. To demonstrate future applications of 3D printing for microfluidic structures, we investigate the fluidic characteristics of material jetted surfaces. We also demonstrate the [...] Read more.
While 3D printing is increasingly used in most fields of engineering, its utilization for microfluidics has thus far been limited. To demonstrate future applications of 3D printing for microfluidic structures, we investigate the fluidic characteristics of material jetted surfaces. We also demonstrate the manufacture of dual-material microfluidic inserts that feature rigid and elastic elements. The fabricated parts are inserted on a microfluidic CD, enhancing design freedom and prototyping capability of over molded parts. Furthermore, printed elastic membranes are tested for fatigue during elastic-pneumatic pumping and rigid and elastic surfaces are characterized with regards to hydrophilicity and surface topography. Finally, different printed disc inserts are demonstrated for moving liquid towards the center of rotation, the mixing of liquids, and controlling burst events through channels width. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printed Microfluidic Devices and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
3D Printed Lab-on-a-Chip Platform for Chemical Stimulation and Parallel Analysis of Ion Channel Function
Micromachines 2019, 10(8), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10080548 - 19 Aug 2019
Abstract
Functional imaging has been a widely established method for the assessment of ion channel function in vitro. Conventional infrastructure used for in vitro functional analysis of ion channels is typically proprietary, non-customizable, expensive, and requires a high level of skill to use and [...] Read more.
Functional imaging has been a widely established method for the assessment of ion channel function in vitro. Conventional infrastructure used for in vitro functional analysis of ion channels is typically proprietary, non-customizable, expensive, and requires a high level of skill to use and maintain. 3D desktop printing, which is employed in the rapid prototyping field, allows for quick engineering of alternatives to conventional imaging infrastructure that are customizable, low cost, and user friendly. Here, we describe an ultra-low-cost microfluidic lab-on-a-chip (LOC) device manufactured using acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) for in vitro functional imaging of ion channels that can quickly and easily be reconstructed using three-dimensional (3D) desktop printing. The device is light weight (<5 g), small (20 mm × 49 mm), and extremely low cost (<EUR 1). We simulate fluidics within the printed channels and assess the suitability of the engineered chamber to generate homogeneous mixtures during solution exchange. We demonstrate the usability of the 3D printed microfluidic device in a case study using Fluo-4-loaded human embryonal kidney-derived (HEK293) cells, recombinantly expressing the capsaicin receptor, transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor type 1 (TRPV1), as a model system. In the case study, we confirm its applicability to solution exchange for chemical stimulation and parallel functional time-lapse fluorescence microscopy-based calcium imaging. We assess the suitability of ABS for culturing HEK293 cells inside the microfluidic LOC, based on qualitative analysis of microscopic transmission light images of ABS-exposed HEK293 cells and confirm the previously reported biocompatibility of ABS. To highlight the versatility of the 3D printed microfluidic device, we provide an example for multiplication of the shown concept within a 3D printed multichannel microfluidic LOC to be used, for example, in a higher throughput format for parallelized functional analysis of ion channels. While this work focusses on Ca2+ imaging with TRPV1 channels, the device may also be useful for application with other ion channel types and in vitro models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printed Microfluidic Devices and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
On the Impact of the Fabrication Method on the Performance of 3D Printed Mixers
Micromachines 2019, 10(5), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10050298 - 30 Apr 2019
Abstract
A wide variety of 3D printing technologies have been used for the fabrication of lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices in recent years. Despite the large number of studies having examined the use of 3D printing technologies in microfluidic devices, the effect of the fabrication method [...] Read more.
A wide variety of 3D printing technologies have been used for the fabrication of lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices in recent years. Despite the large number of studies having examined the use of 3D printing technologies in microfluidic devices, the effect of the fabrication method on their performance has received little attention. In this paper, a comparison is shown between unibody-LOC micro-mixers, a particular type of monolithic design for 3D printed LOCs, fabricated in polyjet, stereolithography (SLA) and fused deposition modelling (FDM or FFF) platforms, paying particular attention to the inherent limitations of each fabrication platform and how these affect the performance of the manufactured devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printed Microfluidic Devices and Its Applications)
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