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Applications of the functional materials in microfluidics

Authors Yi, Xin
Issue Date 2011
Summary Microfluidic is a relatively new but highly interdisciplinary research area. The most obvious advantages of microfluidic are small sample requirement and fluidic flow in micro channels. As a platform, microfluidic is commonly used to carry out many physical, chemical and biological experiments. In medical diagnostics, especially point of care test, microfluidic has a great potential to become a powerful tool. As a relative new research area, the development microfluidic has last for more than ten years without any indication of decadency. Researches on how to fabricate reliable microfluidic devices with multiple functions never stop. With new functional materials introduced into this area, new method invented in microfluidic chip fabrication, more complex structural microfluidic devices integrated with more and more complicated functions integrated spring up like mushrooms. In this thesis, a new fabrication method and three new functional materials are introduced. Laser cutting technology provides many advantages such as fast, low cost, simplicity, lower expertise requirement, and multiple-material compatibility. It has been wildly used in industrial fabrications. With the invention of high-precision laser cutting machines, implement of this technology into microfluidic devices fabrication largely could largely shorten the fabrication time and lower the cost of researches. Wax is a relatively new material used in microfluidics. It is of inertia, low-cost, environment friendly, biocompatibility and biodegradability. Wax chip could be wildly used in experiments which concerning about the effect on bioactive molecules. Furthermore, wax chip adopts a reverse thermal bonding technology which offers a fast way to realize 3 dimensional structures with electrodes integrated. Invention of paper based microfluidic devices aim at its application in point of care testing. Massive commercial product of paper-based POCT microfluidic devices could benefit from its super low cost of paper. However, molecules absorption and passive penetration of liquid in paper chip set up a barrier for wildly application. By introducing a glue bonding technology into paper chip fabrication process, those devices could miraculously realize complex biological analysis such as BSA concentration detection and DNA electrophoresis. CI-PDMS is such a kind of material that integrated both the magnetic response character of CI particles and good mechanical properties of PDMS. This kind of material has been used to fabricate micro mixer and micro pump integrated within microfluidic devices. The advantages of CI-PDMS comparing to others are its high magnetization and good mechanical deformation ability. These could further its usage into drugs delivery researches in which CI-PDMS is used to control the drug release profile.
Note Thesis (M.Phil.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2011
Language English
Format Thesis
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