Biomedical Microdevices

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 587–595 | Cite as

An ultra-thin PDMS membrane as a bio/micro–nano interface: fabrication and characterization

  • Abel L. Thangawng
  • Rodney S. Ruoff
  • Melody A. Swartz
  • Matthew R. GlucksbergEmail author


We report a method for making ultra-thin PDMS membrane devices. Freely suspended membranes as thin as 70 nm have been fabricated. Bulging tests were performed with a custom built fluidic cell to characterize large circular membranes. The fluidic cell allows the media (such as air or water) to wet one side of the membrane while maintaining the other side dry. Pressure was applied to the membrane via a liquid manometer through the fluidic cell. The resulting load-deflection curves show membranes that are extremely flexible, and they can be reproducibly loaded and unloaded. Such devices may potentially be used as mechanical and chemical sensors, and as a bio-nano/micro interface to study cellular mechanics in both static and dynamic environments.


Microfabrication PDMS membrane Bulging test Ultra sensitive membrane 



Funding for this project was provided by NIH (HL075217) and NSF (BES-0134551).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abel L. Thangawng
    • 1
  • Rodney S. Ruoff
    • 1
  • Melody A. Swartz
    • 2
  • Matthew R. Glucksberg
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Mechanical Engineering DepartmentNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Biomedical Engineering DepartmentNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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