Microtech2010 2010

Fabrication and Evaluation of Photo Controllable Spiropyran Gates in Microfluidic Devices

J. Nammoonnoy, M.T. Koesdjojo, V.T. Remcho
Oregon State University, US

Keywords: spiropyran, microfluidic fabrication


Spiropyrans are organic photochromic compounds which, upon irradiation with UV or visible light isomerize between a neutral (closed form) and a comparatively more polar zwitterionic (open form) structures (Figure 1). Spiropyrans, therefore, show great potential as photo-reversible polarity switching agent. In this work, we present a novel means of fabrication of a microfluidic device with an integrated spyropyran-based valving system. A spiropyran-modified filter membrane is integrated into the microchip and can serve as an on-chip valving or filtration component. By manipulating the immobilized-spyropyran hydrophobicity at on the membrane surface, on-chip switching is possible. Integration of the spiropyran-based valve is facilitated by fabricating a microfluidic chip using a low melting temperature polymer, polycaprolactone (PCL). PCL is a biodegradable polyester with a low melting point (60 oC) and a glass transition temperature of -60 oC. The channel is formed by cutting the PCL materials using a knife plotter (Figure 2). The complete microfluidic channel is developed by enclosing the PCL channels with top and bottom layers. These layers can be made of various materials, including plastic polymers (i.e. acrylic, polycarbonate, Teflon), glass, and metals. This approach allows for rapid chip design and modification in the prototyping process and results in environmentally friendly disposable chips. The advantages of this technique are that it provides a more direct method to generate microfluidic chips, microdevices, and components than classical techniques.
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