Controlling the hydrophilicity of microchannels with bonding adhesives containing surfactants

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Controlling the hydrophilicity of microchannels with bonding adhesives containing surfactants
Yong Taik Lim; S J Kim; H Yang; K Kim
Bibliographic Citation
Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, vol. 16, no. 7, pp. N9-N16
Publication Year
In this study, a novel protocol to control the hydrophilicity of microchannels as well as to bond the microfluidic devices in all polymer-based biomedical devices is suggested. It is demonstrated that the contact angle of water in the microchannel surface can be tuned using conventional pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSA) containing surfactants. The surfactants are immersed in a hydrophobic PSA film in hydrophobic environments (air). The water-adhesive interface reconstructed quickly and became hydrophilic upon contact with water. Both the contact angle and volumetric flow rate (VFR) of water in microchannels could be systematically controlled by changing the concentration of the surfactants in the PSA film and by using different types of surfactants with different chemical structures. The VFR of water changed in a two-order range (1-102 nl s-1) when the concentration of surfactants was varied from 1% to 10%. We believe that the use of surfactants favors mainly the control of flow rate and the protocol suggested here to control the flow velocity in a broad range should find a wide application. Although the hydrophilic coating formulated with surfactants has proven effective in improving the flow rate of liquid, the surfactants located at the interface could be dissolved into the fluid samples. And the beneficial result of the use of surfactants is restricted to microfluidic devices where the liquid stays briefly in contact with the channel walls. The protocol suggested in the research can be directly applied to the development of low-cost, high-speed and reliable bonding techniques for disposable polymer-based microfluidic devices.
IOP Publishing Ltd
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