Special Issue "Women’s Special Issue Series: Micromachines"

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (8 March 2022) | Viewed by 5253

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Yang Liu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
Interests: electrochemical sensors; electrocatalysis; carbon nanomaterials; liquid/liquid interfaces
Prof. Dr. Regina Luttge
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Chair Neuro-Nanoscale Engineering, Microsystems section, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Institute of Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS), Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Interests: micro- and nanoscale assisted neuroscience and technology; micro- and nanofabrication; microfluidic applications; 3D brain-on-a-chip; organ-on-a-chip platforms; systems engineering
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Prof. Dr. Marisa Manzano
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze Agroalimentari, Ambientali e Animali (DI4A), Università degli Studi di Udine, Via Sondrio 2/A, 33100 Udine, Italy
Interests: DNA probes; aptamers; electrochemical biosensors; SPR; qPCR; pathogens; antimicrobial activities of nanoparticles; food microbiology
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Prof. Dr. Beatriz Jurado Sánchez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Analytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Universidad de Alcalá, 28871 Madrid, Spain
Interests: nanotechnology; micromotors; sensors; analytical chemistry; quantum dots; 2D nanomaterials; carbon nanomaterials
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Prof. Dr. Anna Vikulina
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Bavarian Polymer Institute, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Dr.-Mack-Straße 77, 90762 Fürth, Germany
Interests: drug delivery; gene delivery; liposomes; nanoparticles; functional materials; molecular diffusion; mass and heat transport simulation; cell signalling; cell death
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Prof. Dr. Ioanna Zergioti
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS), National Technical University of Athens, Heroon Polytehneiou 9, 15780 Athens, Greece
Interests: laser-induced forward transfer; dual-laser bioprinting; laser materials microprocessing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to present this special collection of articles highlighting the achievements of women scientists in micro/nanoscale structures, materials, devices, and systems from all around the world. This Special Issue is devoted to presenting research performed by early- and advanced-career female scientists.

Micromachines is a peer-reviewed open access journal concerning all aspects of micro/nanoscale structures, materials, devices, and systems, as well as related micro- and nanotechnology, from fundamentals to applications. Its Impact Factor has increased continuously in recent years, reaching 2.891 in 2020. Its primary areas of research interests include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Micro/nanoscale structures, devices, systems, and applications;
  • Micro- and nanotechnologies for biological, chemical, medical, environmental, and energy applications;
  • Micro- and nanoscale fabrication and manufacturing technologies;
  • Theories and analyses of multiphysics phenomena in micro/nanoscale;
  • Material developments for micro- and nanostructures.

Communications, original research papers, and review articles are welcome. Biographies or articles celebrating outstanding women researchers are also welcome.

Articles where the lead authors are women, or that are completely authored by women, are encouraged. We welcome submissions from all authors, irrespective of gender.

Dr. Yang Liu
Prof. Dr. Regina Luttge
Prof. Dr. Marisa Manzano
Prof. Dr. Beatriz Jurado Sánchez
Prof. Dr. Anna Vikulina
Prof. Dr. Ioanna Zergioti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2000 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.

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
A Parametric Analysis of Capillary Height in Single-Layer, Small-Scale Microfluidic Artificial Lungs
Micromachines 2022, 13(6), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13060822 - 25 May 2022
Viewed by 292
Abstract
Microfluidic artificial lungs (μALs) are being investigated for their ability to closely mimic the size scale and cellular environment of natural lungs. Researchers have developed μALs with small artificial capillary diameters (10–50 µm; to increase gas exchange efficiency) and with large capillary diameters [...] Read more.
Microfluidic artificial lungs (μALs) are being investigated for their ability to closely mimic the size scale and cellular environment of natural lungs. Researchers have developed μALs with small artificial capillary diameters (10–50 µm; to increase gas exchange efficiency) and with large capillary diameters (~100 µm; to simplify design and construction). However, no study has directly investigated the impact of capillary height on μAL properties. Here, we use Murray’s law and the Hagen-Poiseuille equation to design single-layer, small-scale μALs with capillary heights between 10 and 100 µm. Each µAL contained two blood channel types: capillaries for gas exchange; and distribution channels for delivering blood to/from capillaries. Three designs with capillary heights of 30, 60, and 100 µm were chosen for further modeling, implementation and testing with blood. Flow simulations were used to validate and ensure equal pressures. Designs were fabricated using soft lithography. Gas exchange and pressure drop were tested using whole bovine blood. All three designs exhibited similar pressure drops and gas exchange; however, the μAL with 60 µm tall capillaries had a significantly higher wall shear rate (although physiologic), smaller priming volume and smaller total blood contacting surface area than the 30 and 100 µm designs. Future μAL designs may need to consider the impact of capillary height when optimizing performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women’s Special Issue Series: Micromachines)
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Article
Wireless Photometry Prototype for Tri-Color Excitation and Multi-Region Recording
Micromachines 2022, 13(5), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13050727 - 30 Apr 2022
Viewed by 514
Abstract
Visualizing neuronal activation and neurotransmitter release by using fluorescent sensors is increasingly popular. The main drawback of contemporary multi-color or multi-region fiber photometry systems is the tethered structure that prevents the free movement of the animals. Although wireless photometry devices exist, a review [...] Read more.
Visualizing neuronal activation and neurotransmitter release by using fluorescent sensors is increasingly popular. The main drawback of contemporary multi-color or multi-region fiber photometry systems is the tethered structure that prevents the free movement of the animals. Although wireless photometry devices exist, a review of literature has shown that these devices can only optically stimulate or excite with a single wavelength simultaneously, and the lifetime of the battery is short. To tackle this limitation, we present a prototype for implementing a fully wireless photometry system with multi-color and multi-region functions. This paper introduces an integrated circuit (IC) prototype fabricated in TSMC 180 nm CMOS process technology. The prototype includes 3-channel optical excitation, 2-channel optical recording, wireless power transfer, and wireless data telemetry blocks. The recording front end has an average gain of 107 dB and consumes 620 μW of power. The light-emitting diode (LED) driver block provides a peak current of 20 mA for optical excitation. The rectifier, the core of the wireless power transmission, operates with 63% power conversion efficiency at 13.56 MHz and a maximum of 87% at 2 MHz. The system is validated in a laboratory bench test environment and compared with state-of-the-art technologies. The optical excitation and recording front end and the wireless power transfer circuit evaluated in this paper will form the basis for a future miniaturized final device with a shank that can be used in in vivo experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women’s Special Issue Series: Micromachines)
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Article
Mixing Improvement in a T-Shaped Micro-Junction through Small Rectangular Cavities
Micromachines 2022, 13(2), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13020159 - 21 Jan 2022
Viewed by 702
Abstract
The T-shaped micro-junction is among the most used geometry in microfluidic applications, and many design modifications of the channel walls have been proposed to enhance mixing. In this work, we investigate through numerical simulations the introduction of one pair of small rectangular cavities [...] Read more.
The T-shaped micro-junction is among the most used geometry in microfluidic applications, and many design modifications of the channel walls have been proposed to enhance mixing. In this work, we investigate through numerical simulations the introduction of one pair of small rectangular cavities in the lateral walls of the mixing channel just downstream of the confluence region. The aim is to preserve the simple geometry that has contributed to spread the practical use of the T-shaped micro-junction while suggesting a modification that should, in principle, work jointly with the vortical structures present in the mixing channel, further enhancing their efficiency in mixing without significant additional pressure drops. The performance is analyzed in the different flow regimes occurring by increasing the Reynolds number. The cavities are effective in the two highly-mixed flow regimes, viz., the steady engulfment and the periodic asymmetric regimes. This presence does not interfere with the formation of the vortical structures that promote mixing by convection in these two regimes, but it further enhances the mixing of the inlet streams in the near-wall region of the mixing channel without any additional cost, leading to better performance than the classical configuration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women’s Special Issue Series: Micromachines)
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Article
Structural Design and Optimization of a Resonant Micro-Accelerometer Based on Electrostatic Stiffness by an Improved Differential Evolution Algorithm
Micromachines 2022, 13(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13010038 - 28 Dec 2021
Viewed by 351
Abstract
This study designed an in-plane resonant micro-accelerometer based on electrostatic stiffness. The accelerometer adopts a one-piece proof mass structure; two double-folded beam resonators are symmetrically distributed inside the proof mass, and only one displacement is introduced under the action of acceleration, which reduces [...] Read more.
This study designed an in-plane resonant micro-accelerometer based on electrostatic stiffness. The accelerometer adopts a one-piece proof mass structure; two double-folded beam resonators are symmetrically distributed inside the proof mass, and only one displacement is introduced under the action of acceleration, which reduces the influence of processing errors on the performance of the accelerometer. The two resonators form a differential structure that can diminish the impact of common-mode errors. This accelerometer realizes the separation of the introduction of electrostatic stiffness and the detection of resonant frequency, which is conducive to the decoupling of accelerometer signals. An improved differential evolution algorithm was developed to optimize the scale factor of the accelerometer. Through the final elimination principle, excellent individuals are preserved, and the most suitable parameters are allocated to the surviving individuals to stimulate the offspring to find the globally optimal ability. The algorithm not only maintains the global optimality but also reduces the computational complexity of the algorithm and deterministically realizes the optimization of the accelerometer scale factor. The electrostatic stiffness resonant micro-accelerometer was fabricated by deep dry silicon-on-glass (DDSOG) technology. The unloaded resonant frequency of the accelerometer resonant beam was between 24 and 26 kHz, and the scale factor of the packaged accelerometer was between 54 and 59 Hz/g. The average error between the optimization result and the actual scale factor was 7.03%. The experimental results verified the rationality of the structural design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women’s Special Issue Series: Micromachines)
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Review

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Review
Progress on Optical Fiber Biochemical Sensors Based on Graphene
Micromachines 2022, 13(3), 348; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13030348 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1176
Abstract
Graphene, a novel form of the hexagonal honeycomb two-dimensional carbon-based structural material with a zero-band gap and ultra-high specific surface area, has unique optoelectronic capabilities, promising a suitable basis for its application in the field of optical fiber sensing. Graphene optical fiber sensing [...] Read more.
Graphene, a novel form of the hexagonal honeycomb two-dimensional carbon-based structural material with a zero-band gap and ultra-high specific surface area, has unique optoelectronic capabilities, promising a suitable basis for its application in the field of optical fiber sensing. Graphene optical fiber sensing has also been a hotspot in cross-research in biology, materials, medicine, and micro-nano devices in recent years, owing to prospective benefits, such as high sensitivity, small size, and strong anti-electromagnetic interference capability and so on. Here, the progress of optical fiber biochemical sensors based on graphene is reviewed. The fabrication of graphene materials and the sensing mechanism of the graphene-based optical fiber sensor are described. The typical research works of graphene-based optical fiber biochemical sensor, such as long-period fiber grating, Bragg fiber grating, no-core fiber and photonic crystal fiber are introduced, respectively. Finally, prospects for graphene-based optical fiber biochemical sensing technology will also be covered, which will provide an important reference for the development of graphene-based optical fiber biochemical sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women’s Special Issue Series: Micromachines)
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Review
Low Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound for Bone Tissue Engineering
Micromachines 2021, 12(12), 1488; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi12121488 - 30 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 933
Abstract
As explained by Wolff’s law and the mechanostat hypothesis, mechanical stimulation can be used to promote bone formation. Low intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) is a source of mechanical stimulation that can activate the integrin/phosphatidylinositol 3-OH kinase/Akt pathway and upregulate osteogenic proteins through the [...] Read more.
As explained by Wolff’s law and the mechanostat hypothesis, mechanical stimulation can be used to promote bone formation. Low intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) is a source of mechanical stimulation that can activate the integrin/phosphatidylinositol 3-OH kinase/Akt pathway and upregulate osteogenic proteins through the production of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). This paper analyzes the results of in vitro and in vivo studies that have evaluated the effects of LIPUS on cell behavior within three-dimensional (3D) titanium, ceramic, and hydrogel scaffolds. We focus specifically on cell morphology and attachment, cell proliferation and viability, osteogenic differentiation, mineralization, bone volume, and osseointegration. As shown by upregulated levels of alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin, increased mineral deposition, improved cell ingrowth, greater scaffold pore occupancy by bone tissue, and superior vascularization, LIPUS generally has a positive effect and promotes bone formation within engineered scaffolds. Additionally, LIPUS can have synergistic effects by producing the piezoelectric effect and enhancing the benefits of 3D hydrogel encapsulation, growth factor delivery, and scaffold modification. Additional research should be conducted to optimize the ultrasound parameters and evaluate the effects of LIPUS with other types of scaffold materials and cell types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women’s Special Issue Series: Micromachines)
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Other

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Technical Note
Reconfigurable Electronic Platforms: A Top-Down Approach to Learn about Design and Integration of Electronic Systems
Micromachines 2022, 13(3), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13030442 - 15 Mar 2022
Viewed by 497
Abstract
This case report presents a real example of a study which introduces the use of reconfigurable platforms in the teaching of electronics engineering to establish a bridge between theory and practice. This gap is one of the major concerns of the electronics engineering [...] Read more.
This case report presents a real example of a study which introduces the use of reconfigurable platforms in the teaching of electronics engineering to establish a bridge between theory and practice. This gap is one of the major concerns of the electronics engineering students. Different strategies, such as simulation tools or breadboard implementations, have been followed so far to make it easier for students to practice what they study in lectures. However, many students still claim to have problems when they face real practical implementations. The use of reconfigurable platforms as a teaching tool is proposed to provide the students the possibility of fast experimentation, reducing both development time and the learning curve. In addition, reconfigurable platforms available on the market make this methodology suitable to be applied throughout the different courses of their curricula. The feasibility of this approach is demonstrated in a course at the M.Eng. level, where the objective is the study, design and development of electronic sensor nodes. We firmly consider, based on the students’ results and reflections collected during the course, that this methodology helps students to address the theoretical framework from a practical viewpoint, as well as to acquire some of the fundamental skills for their professional careers, such as the usage of communication protocols and embedded systems programming, in a more intuitive way when compared to traditional teaching methodologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women’s Special Issue Series: Micromachines)
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