This study developed a droplet biochip driven with a single vacuum module to produce droplets from small sample volumes. The vacuum module is composed of a shape memory polymer, which releases prestored energy for shape recovery when subjected to heat trigger, and works as an easy-to-attach vacuum source. The three-layer Teflon mold is designed to manufacture a vacuum module with a favorable yield (>95%). The water-in-oil emulsion droplets can be produced by attaching a single vacuum module with a microfluidic chip. The diameter of the vacuum module has been successfully reduced to 6 mm. The maximum driving pressure provided by the 15-mm diameter vacuum module attached with a 2 μL chip is approximately 9653 Pa. The produced flow rate varies with the deformation rate of the vacuum module and becomes stable at 2.4 µL/min during the droplet generation. The droplet diameters range from 180 to 240 µm. The developed disposable vacuum module is easy to attach, easy to use, easy to make, cost-effective, and automatically controllable for driving fluids on a chip for handling small sample volumes.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Bilitewski U, Genrich M, Kadow S, Mersal G (2003) Biochemical analysis with microfluidic systems. Anal Bioanal Chem 377:556–569
Do J, Lee S, Han J, Kai J, Hong C-C, Gao C, Nevin JH, Beaucage G, Ahn CH (2008) Development of functional lab-on-a-chip on polymer for point-of-care testing of metabolic parameters. Lab Chip 8(12):2113–2120
Fang WF, Lee AP (2015) LCAT pump optimization for an integrated microfluidic droplet generator. Microfluid Nanofluid 18:1265–1275
Fang Y, Ni Y, Choi B, Leo S-Y, Gao J, Ge B, Taylor C, Basile V, Jiang P (2015) Chromogenic photonic crystals enabled by novel Vapor-responsive shape-memory polymers. Adv Mater 27:3696–3704
Haeberle S, Zengerle R (2007) Microfluidic platforms for lab-on-a-chip applications. Lab Chip 7:1094–1220
Haeberle S, Zengerle R, Ducree J (2007) Centrifugal generation and manipulation of droplet emulsions. Microfluid Nanofluid 3:65–75
Harsen AS, Hao N, O’shea EK (2015) High-throughput microfluidics to control and measure signalling dynamics in single yeast cells. Nat Protoc 10:1181–1197
Hatch AC, Fisher JS, Tovar AR (2011) 1-Million droplet array with wide-field fluorescence imaging for digital PCR. Lab Chip 11:3838–3845
Hearon K, Wierzbicki MA, Nash LD, Landsman TL, Laramy C, Lonnecker AT, Gibbons MC, Ur S, Cardinal KO, Wilson TS, Wooley KL, Maitland DJ (2015) A processable shape memory polymer system for biomedical applications. Adv Healthc Mater 4(9):1386–1398
Hong CC, Chen JC (2011) Pre-programmable polymer transformers as on-chip microfluidic vacuum generators. Microfluid Nanofluid 11:385–393
Hong CC, Murugesan S, Kim S, Beaucage G, Choi JW, Ahn CH (2003) A functional on-chip pressure generator using solid chemical propellant for disposable labon- a-chip. Lab Chip 3:281–286
Hong C-C, Choi J-W, Ahn CH (2007) An on-chip air-bursting detonator for driving fluids on disposable lab-on-a-chip systems. J Micromech Microeng 17:410–417
Iwai K, Shih KC, Lin X, Brubaker TA, Sochol RD, Lin L (2014) Finger-powered microfluidic systems using multilayer soft lithography and injection molding processes. Lab Chip 14:3790–3799
Li J, Wang Y, Dong E, Chen H (2014) USB-driven microfluidic chips on printed circuit boards. Lab Chip 14:860–864
Li C, Xu J, Ma B (2015) A self-powered microfluidic monodispersed droplet generator with capability of multi-sample introduction. Microfluid Nanofluid 18:1067–1073
Martinez AW, Phillips ST, Wiley BJ, Gupta M, Whitesides GM (2008) FLASH: a rapid method for prototyping paper-based microfluidic devices. Lab Chip 8:2146–2150
Meier T, Bur J, Reinhard M, Schneider M, Kolew A, Worgull M, Hölscher H (2015) Programmable and self-demolding microstructured molds fabricated from shape-memory polymers. J Micromech Microeng 25:065017
Parhizkar M, Stride E, Edirisinghe M (2014) Preparation of monodisperse microbubbles using an integrated embedded capillary T-junction with electrohydrodynamic focusing. Lab Chip 14:2437–2446
Skelley AM, Kirak O, Suh H, Jaenisch R, Voldman J (2009) Microfluidic control of cell pairing and fusion. Nat Methods 6:147–152
Song Y, Hormes J, Kumar CSSR (2008) Microfluidic synthesis of nanomaterials. Small 4(6):698–711
Su YC, Lin L (2004) A water-powered micro drug delivery system. J Microelectromech Syst 13:75–82
Tormos JC, Lieber D, Baret J-C, El-Harrak A, Miller OJ, Frenz L, Blouwolff J, Humphry KJ, Kster S, Duan H, Holtze C, Weitz DA, Griffiths AD, Merten CA (2008) Droplet-based microfluidic platforms for the encapsulation and screening of mammalian cells and multicellular organisms. Chem Biol 15:427–437
Wang CH, Kang ST, Lee YH, Huang YF, Yeh CK (2012) Aptamer-conjugated and drug-loaded acoustic droplets for ultrasound theranosis. Biomaterials 33:1939–1947
Whitesides GM (2006) The origins and the future of microfluidics. Nature 442(7101):368–373
Xu L, Lee H, Jetta D, Oh KW (2015) Vacuum-driven power-free microfluidics utilizing the gas solubility or permeability of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Lab Chip 15:3962–3979
Yu X, Cheng G, Zhou M-D, Zheng S-Y (2015) On-demand one-step synthesis of monodisperse functional polymeric microspheres with droplet microfluidics. Langmuir 31:3982–3992
Zimmermann M, Schmid H, Hunziker P, Delamarche E (2007) Capillary pumps for autonomous capillary systems. Lab Chip 7:119–125
This research was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan (MOST 104-2627-B-007-002).
About this article
Cite this article
Lee, C., Hong, C. Easy-to-attach vacuum modules with biochips for droplets generation from small sample volumes. Microfluid Nanofluid 20, 158 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10404-016-1821-3
- Vacuum module
- Shape memory polymer
- Droplet generation
- Microfluidic chip