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Drop-on-demand printed microfluidics device with sensing electrodes using silver and PDMS reactive inks

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For this work, a cure-in-place polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) reactive ink was developed and its utility demonstrated by printing a complete microfluidic mixer with integrated electrodes to measure fluid conductivity, concentration, and mixing completeness. First, a parameter-space investigation was conducted to generate a set of PDMS inks and printing parameters compatible with drop-on-demand (DOD) printing constraints. Next, a microfluidic mixer was fabricated using DOD-printed silver reactive inks, PDMS reactive inks, and a low-temperature polyethylene glycol fugitive ink. Lastly, the device was calibrated and tested using NaCl solutions with concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 1.0 M to show that electrolyte concentration and mixing completeness can be accurately measured. Overall, this work demonstrates a set of reactive inks and processes to fabricate sophisticated microfluidic devices using low-cost inks and DOD printing techniques.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the generous support from the National Science Foundation (NSF #1635548) and the Science Foundation Arizona (BSP 0615-15).

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Correspondence to Owen Hildreth.

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Mamidanna, A., Lefky, C. & Hildreth, O. Drop-on-demand printed microfluidics device with sensing electrodes using silver and PDMS reactive inks. Microfluid Nanofluid 21, 172 (2017).

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