Features in Microfluidic Paper-Based Devices Made by Laser Cutting: How Small Can They Be?
ABSTRACT: In this paper, we determine the smallest feature size that enables fluid flow in microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (µPADs) fabricated by laser cutting. The smallest feature sizes fabricated from five commercially available paper types: Whatman filter paper grade 50 (FP-50), Whatman 3MM Chr chromatography paper (3MM Chr), Whatman 1 Chr chromatography paper (1 Chr), Whatman regenerated cellulose membrane 55 (RC-55) and Amershan Protran 0.45 nitrocellulose membrane (NC), were 139 ± 8 µm, 130 ± 11 µm, 103 ± 12 µm, 45 ± 6 µm, and 24 ± 3 µm, respectively, as determined experimentally by successful fluid flow. We found that the fiber width of the paper correlates with the smallest feature size that has the capacity for fluid flow. We also investigated the flow speed of Allura red dye solution through small-scale channels fabricated from different paper types. We found that the flow speed is significantly slower through microscale features and confirmed the similar trends that were reported previously for millimeter-scale channels, namely that wider channels enable quicker flow speed.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Accurate sampling of sub-microscopic gametocytes is necessary for epidemiological studies to identify the infectious reservoir of Plasmodium falciparum. Detection of gametocyte mRNA achieves sensitive detection, but requires careful handling of samples. Filter papers can be used for collecting RNA samples, but rigorous testing of their capacity to withstand adverse storage conditions has not been fully explored. METHODS: Three gametocyte dilutions: 10/?L, 1.0/?L and 0.1/?L were spotted onto Whatman™ 903 Protein Saver Cards, FTA Classic Cards and 3MM filter papers that were stored under frozen, cold chain or tropical conditions for up to 13 weeks . RNA was extracted, then detected by quantitative nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (QT-NASBA) and reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR). RESULTS: Successful gametocyte detection was more frequently observed from the Whatman 903 Protein Saver Card compared to the Whatman FTA Classic Card, by both techniques (p<0.0001). When papers were stored at higher temperatures, a loss in sensitivity was experienced for the FTA Classic Card but not the 903 Protein Saver Card or Whatman 3MM filter paper. The sensitivity of gametocyte detection was decreased when papers were stored at high humidity. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates the Whatman 903 Protein Saver Card is better for Pfs25 mRNA sampling compared to the Whatman FTA Classic Card, and that the Whatman 3MM filter paper may prove to be a satisfactory cheaper option for Pfs25 mRNA sampling. When appropriately dried, filter papers provide a useful approach to Pfs25 mRNA sampling, especially in settings where storage in RNA-protecting buffer is not possible.
Project description:A systematic investigation was conducted to study the effect of paper type on the analytical performance of a series of microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (?PADs) fabricated using a CO2 laser engraver. Samples included three different grades of Whatman chromatography paper, and three grades of Whatman filter paper. According to the data collected and the characterization performed, different papers offer a wide range of flow rate, thickness, and pore size. After optimizing the channel widths on the ?PAD, the focus of this study was directed towards the color intensity and color uniformity formed during a colorimetric enzymatic reaction. According to the results herein described, the type of paper and the volume of reagents dispensed in each detection zone can determine the color intensity and uniformity. Therefore, the objective of this communication is to provide rational guidelines for the selection of paper substrates for the fabrication of ?PADs.
Project description:We report a newly developed high speed 1050nm spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) system for imaging posterior segment of human eye. The system is capable of an axial resolution at ~10 µm in air, an imaging depth of 6.1 mm in air, a system sensitivity fall-off at ~6 dB/3mm and an imaging speed of 120,000 A-scans per second. We experimentally demonstrate the system's capability to perform phase-resolved imaging of dynamic blood flow within retina, indicating high phase stability of the SDOCT system. Finally, we show an example that uses this newly developed system to image posterior segment of human eye with a large view of view (10 × 9 mm(2)), providing detailed visualization of microstructural features from anterior retina to posterior choroid. The demonstrated system parameters and imaging performances are comparable to those that a typical 1 µm swept source OCT would deliver for retinal imaging.
Project description:This article details the study of electrochemical behavior of new carbon electrodes based on pyrolysis of different paper sources to be used in biosensor applications. The resistivity of the pyrolyzed papers was initially used as screening parameters to select the best three paper samples (imaging card paper, multipurpose printing paper, and 3MM chromatography paper) and assemble working electrodes that were further characterized by a combination of microscopy, electrochemistry, and spectroscopy. Although slight differences in performance were observed, all carbon substrates fabricated from pyrolysis of paper allowed the development of competitive biosensors for uric acid. The presented results demonstrate the potential of these electrodes for sensing applications and highlight the potential advantages of 3MM chromatography paper as a substrate to fabricate electrodes by pyrolysis.
Project description:In this paper, we present a disposable, colorimetric, user-friendly and mass-customizable dermal patch for chronological collection and discrete real-time in situ measurement of sweat secretion over a small area of skin. The patch consists of a laminated filter paper patterned into radially arranged channels/fingers with water-activated dyes at their tips. As channels are filled during perspiration, their tips change color once fully saturated, providing easily identifiable levels of water loss which in turn can be mapped to personal dehydration levels. The patch can be manufactured at low cost in a variety of sizes to allow hydration monitoring for individuals participating in activities under different conditions (intensity, temperature, humidity, etc.). Furthermore, we describe an analytical model that enables mass customization of such a flexible wearable system accommodating a broad range of sweat rates and volumes to generate patch designs that are personalized to an individual's sweat rate, desired time of usage, and the temporal resolution of the required feedback. As a proof-of-concept demonstration, we characterized laser-fabricated patches that cover (7 cm × 5 cm) area of skin having various wicking materials, thicknesses (180-540 µm), and pore sizes (3-11 µm). Tests were conducted at various flow rates simulating different sweating intensities in the range of 1.5-15 mg/cm2/min. Experimental results for the case of a half-marathon runner targeting 90 min of usage and sweating at a rate of 1.5 mg/cm2/min indicated measurement accuracy of 98.3% when the patch is completely filled.
Project description:Active discharge of basidiospores in most species of Basidiomycota is powered by the rapid movement of a droplet of fluid, called Buller's drop, over the spore surface. This paper is concerned with the operation of the launch mechanism in species with the largest and smallest ballistospores. Aleurodiscus gigasporus (Russulales) produces the largest basidiospores on record. The maximum dimensions of the spores, 34 × 28 µm, correspond to a volume of 14 pL and to an estimated mass of 17 ng. The smallest recorded basidiospores are produced by Hyphodontia latitans (Hymenochaetales). Minimum spore dimensions in this species, 3.5 × 0.5 µm, correspond to a volume of 0.5 fL and mass of 0.6 pg. Neither species has been studied using high-speed video microscopy, but this technique was used to examine ballistospore discharge in species with spores of similar sizes (slightly smaller than A. gigasporus and slightly larger than those of H. latitans). Extrapolation of velocity measurements from these fungi provided estimates of discharge distances ranging from a maximum of almost 2 mm in A. gigasporus to a minimum of 4 µm in H. latitans. These are, respectively, the longest and shortest predicted discharge distances for ballistospores. Limitations to the distances traveled by basidiospores are discussed in relation to the mechanics of the discharge process and the types of fruit-bodies from which the spores are released.
Project description:We present a new, robust three dimensional microfabrication method for highly parallel microfluidics, to improve the throughput of on-chip material synthesis by allowing parallel and simultaneous operation of many replicate devices on a single chip. Recently, parallelized microfluidic chips fabricated in Silicon and glass have been developed to increase the throughput of microfluidic materials synthesis to an industrially relevant scale. These parallelized microfluidic chips require large arrays (>10,000) of Through Silicon Vias (TSVs) to deliver fluid from delivery channels to the parallelized devices. Ideally, these TSVs should have a small footprint to allow a high density of features to be packed into a single chip, have channels on both sides of the wafer, and at the same time minimize debris generation and wafer warping to enable permanent bonding of the device to glass. Because of these requirements and challenges, previous approaches cannot be easily applied to produce three dimensional microfluidic chips with a large array of TSVs. To address these issues, in this paper we report a fabrication strategy for the robust fabrication of three-dimensional Silicon microfluidic chips consisting of a dense array of TSVs, designed specifically for highly parallelized microfluidics. In particular, we have developed a two-layer TSV design that allows small diameter vias (d < 20 µm) without sacrificing the mechanical stability of the chip and a patterned SiO2 etch-stop layer to replace the use of carrier wafers in Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE). Our microfabrication strategy allows >50,000 (d = 15 µm) TSVs to be fabricated on a single 4" wafer, using only conventional semiconductor fabrication equipment, with 100% yield (M = 16 chips) compared to 30% using previous approaches. We demonstrated the utility of these fabrication strategies by developing a chip that incorporates 20,160 flow focusing droplet generators onto a single 4" Silicon wafer, representing a 100% increase in the total number of droplet generators than previously reported. To demonstrate the utility of this chip for generating pharmaceutical microparticle formulations, we generated 5-9 µm polycaprolactone particles with a CV < 5% at a rate as high as 60 g/hr (>1 trillion particles/hour).
Project description:The fabrication and testing of microfluidic spinning compact discs with embedded trapezoidal microchambers for the purpose of inertial microparticle focusing is reported in this article. Microparticle focusing channels require small features that cannot be easily fabricated in acrylic sheets and are complicated to realize in glass by traditional lithography techniques; therefore, the fabrication of microfluidic discs with femtosecond laser ablation is reported for the first time in this paper. It could be demonstrated that high-efficiency inertial focusing of 5 and 10 µm particles is achieved in a channel with trapezoidal microchambers regardless of the direction of disc rotation, which correlates to the dominance of inertial forces over Coriolis forces. To achieve the highest throughput possible, the suspension concentration was increased from 0.001% (w/v) to 0.005% (w/v). The focusing efficiency was 98.7% for the 10 µm particles and 93.75% for the 5 µm particles.
Project description:Paper-based microfluidic devices are an attractive platform for developing low-cost, point-of-care diagnostic tools. As paper-based devices' detection chemistries become more complex, more complicated devices are required, often entailing the sequential delivery of different liquids or reagents to reaction zones. Most research into flow control has been focused on introducing delays. However, delaying the flow can be problematic due to increased evaporation leading to sample loss. We report the use of a CO2 laser to uniformly etch the surface of the paper to modify wicking speeds in paper-based microfluidic devices. This technique can produce both wicking speed increases of up to 1.1× faster and decreases of up to 0.9× slower. Wicking speeds can be further enhanced by etching both sides of the paper, resulting in wicking 1.3× faster than unetched channels. Channels with lengthwise laser-etched grooves were also compared to uniformly etched channels, with the most heavily grooved channels wicking 1.9× faster than the fastest double-sided etched channels. Furthermore, sealing both sides of the channel in packing tape results in the most heavily etched channels, single-sided, double-sided, and grooved, wicking over 13× faster than unetched channels. By selectively etching individual channels, different combinations of sequential fluid delivery can be obtained without altering any channel geometry. Laser etching is a simple process that can be integrated into the patterning of the device and requires no additional materials or chemicals, enabling greater flow control for paper-based microfluidic devices.
Project description:We present a simple bench-top method to fabricate enclosed circular channels for biological experiments. Fabricating the channels takes less than 2 hours by using glass capillaries of various diameters (from 100 µm up to 400 µm) as a mould in PDMS. The inner surface of microchannels prepared in this way was coated with a thin membrane of either Matrigel or a layer-by-layer polyelectrolyte to control cellular adhesion. The microchannels were then used as scaffolds for 3D-confined epithelial cell culture. To show that our device can be used with several epithelial cell types from exocrine glandular tissues, we performed our biological studies on adherent epithelial prostate cells (non-malignant RWPE-1 and invasive PC3) and also on breast (non-malignant MCF10A) cells We observed that in static conditions cells adhere and proliferate to form a confluent layer in channels of 150 µm in diameter and larger, whereas cellular viability decreases with decreasing diameter of the channel. Matrigel and PSS (poly (sodium 4-styrenesulphonate)) promote cell adhesion, whereas the cell proliferation rate was reduced on the PAH (poly (allylamine hydrochloride))-terminated surface. Moreover infusing channels with a continuous flow did not induce any cellular detachment. Our system is designed to simply grow cells in a microchannel structure and could be easily fabricated in any biological laboratory. It offers opportunities to grow epithelial cells that support the formation of a light. This system could be eventually used, for example, to collect cellular secretions, or study cell responses to graduated hypoxia conditions, to chemicals (drugs, siRNA, …) and/or physiological shear stress.