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Micromachines, Volume 8, Issue 9 (September 2017)

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Cover Story This wearable, non-invasive, single-use biosensor integrates a vertically stacked, paper-based [...] Read more.
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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial The Rise of Scalable Micro/Nanopatterning
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 275; doi:10.3390/mi8090275
Received: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
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Abstract
This is the golden age of scalable micro/nanopatterning, as these methods emerge as an answer to produce industrial-scale nano-objects with a focus on economical sustainability and reliability.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Scalable Micro/Nano Patterning)
Open AccessEditorial Editorial for the Special Issue on Microdevices and Microsystems for Cell Manipulation
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 276; doi:10.3390/mi8090276
Received: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
Microfabricated devices and systems capable of micromanipulation are well-suited for the manipulation of cells.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microdevices and Microsystems for Cell Manipulation)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle On-Chip Microplasmas for the Detection of Radioactive Cesium Contamination in Seawater
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 259; doi:10.3390/mi8090259
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
On-chip microplasmas have previously been used in designing a compact and portable device for identifying pollutants in a water sample. By exciting a liquid sample with a high energy microdischarge and recording the spectral wavelengths emitted, the individual elements in the liquid are
[...] Read more.
On-chip microplasmas have previously been used in designing a compact and portable device for identifying pollutants in a water sample. By exciting a liquid sample with a high energy microdischarge and recording the spectral wavelengths emitted, the individual elements in the liquid are distinguishable. In particular, this study focuses on cesium, a contaminant from nuclear incidents such as the collapse of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan. This article shows that not only can the presence of cesium be clearly determined at concentrations as low as 10 ppb, but the relative concentration contained in the sample can be determined through the discharges’ relative spectral intensity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microplasma Devices)
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Open AccessArticle An Integrated Artificial Cilia Based Microfluidic Device for Micropumping and Micromixing Applications
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 260; doi:10.3390/mi8090260
Received: 25 March 2017 / Revised: 9 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
PDF Full-text (2967 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A multi-purpose microfluidic device that can be used for both micromixing and micropropulsion operations has always been in demand, as it would simplify the various process flows associated with the current micro-total analysis systems. In this aspect, we propose a biomimetic artificial cilia-based
[...] Read more.
A multi-purpose microfluidic device that can be used for both micromixing and micropropulsion operations has always been in demand, as it would simplify the various process flows associated with the current micro-total analysis systems. In this aspect, we propose a biomimetic artificial cilia-based microfluidic device that can efficiently facilitate both mixing and propulsion sequentially at the micro-scale. A rectangular microfluidic device consists of four straight microchannels that were fabricated using the microfabrication technique. An array of artificial cilia was embedded within one of the channel’s confinement through the aforementioned technique. A series of image processing and micro-particle image velocimetry technologies were employed to elucidate the micromixing and micropropulsion phenomena. Experiment results demonstrate that, with this proposed microfluidic device, a maximum micromixing efficiency and flow rate of 0.84 and 0.089 µL/min, respectively, can be achieved. In addition to its primary application as a targeted drug delivery system, where a drug needs to be homogeneously mixed with its carrier prior to its administration into the target body, this microfluidic device can be used as a micro-total analysis system for the handling of other biological specimens. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Lab-on-a-Chip)
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Open AccessArticle Application of Ultra-Small Micro Grinding and Micro Milling Tools: Possibilities and Limitations
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 261; doi:10.3390/mi8090261
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Current demands for flexible, individual microstructures in high quality result in high requirements for micro tools. As the tool size defines the minimum structure size, ultra-small tools are needed. To achieve tool diameters of 50 µm and lower, we investigate the complete manufacturing
[...] Read more.
Current demands for flexible, individual microstructures in high quality result in high requirements for micro tools. As the tool size defines the minimum structure size, ultra-small tools are needed. To achieve tool diameters of 50 µm and lower, we investigate the complete manufacturing chain of micro machining. From the development of the machine tools and components needed to produce and apply the micro tools, the micro tools themselves, as well as the micro machining processes. Machine tools are developed with the possibility of producing the micro geometry (cutting edge design) of micro tools as well as plating processes to produce super abrasive micro grinding tools. Applying these setups, we are able to produce ultra-small micro grinding and micro milling tools with typical diameters of 50 µm and down to 4 µm. However, the application of such tools is very challenging. The article presents possibilities and limitations in manufacturing the micro tools themselves as well as microstructures made with these tools. A special emphasis will be on the influence of the tool substrate in micro milling and grain sizes in micro grinding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-Of-The-Art Micromachining)
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Open AccessArticle Nonlinear Robust Adaptive Multi-Modal Vibration Control of Bi-Electrode Micro-Switch with Constraints on the Input
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 263; doi:10.3390/mi8090263
Received: 12 July 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
Micro functionally graded material (FGM) structures are able to have proper functions in vast environments. In this paper, nonlinear governing equations of the size-dependent micro-switch are derived using modified couple stress theory. Effective external forces including fringing field of electrostatic force and Casimir
[...] Read more.
Micro functionally graded material (FGM) structures are able to have proper functions in vast environments. In this paper, nonlinear governing equations of the size-dependent micro-switch are derived using modified couple stress theory. Effective external forces including fringing field of electrostatic force and Casimir force are considered. Two electrodes cooperate to track the in-plane motions of the micro continuous system by tuning the supply voltages of the electrostatic force. An adaptive projection law is proposed to compensate for the effect of error in the initial estimates of system parameters. To achieve more reliability, a robust active vibration strategy is presented to withstand external disturbances. At any time, just one electrode is operational, and optimization is performed to decrease the controller gains. The highly nonlinear inputs have a singularity in the dynamics of the system, which are known as pull-in instability, so for safety, the controller gains are chosen such that the pull-in voltage is avoided. The dynamic response of the system is simulated using a single mode or multiple modes to validate the effectiveness of the presented vibration control approaches. The effects of error of the initial estimate of system parameters, the effect of impulse and the influences of various volume fractions are studied. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Micromachining Microchannels on Cyclic Olefin Copolymer (COC) Substrates with the Taguchi Method
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 264; doi:10.3390/mi8090264
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
Micromilling is a straightforward approach to the manufacture of polymer microfluidic devices for applications in chemistry and biology. This fabrication process reduces costs, provides a relatively simple user interface, and enables the fabrication of complex structures, which makes it ideal for the development
[...] Read more.
Micromilling is a straightforward approach to the manufacture of polymer microfluidic devices for applications in chemistry and biology. This fabrication process reduces costs, provides a relatively simple user interface, and enables the fabrication of complex structures, which makes it ideal for the development of prototypes. In this study, we investigated the influence of micromilling parameters on the surface roughness of a cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) substrate. We then employed factor analysis to determine the optimal cutting conditions. The parameters used in all experiments were the spindle speed, the feed rate, and the depth of cut. Roughness was measured using a stylus profilometer. The lowest roughness was 0.173 μm at a spindle speed of 20,000 rpm, feed rate of 300 mm/min, and cut depth of 20 μm. Factor analysis revealed that the feed rate has the greatest impact on surface quality, whereas the depth of cut has the least impact. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle A Single-Use, Self-Powered, Paper-Based Sensor Patch for Detection of Exercise-Induced Hypoglycemia
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 265; doi:10.3390/mi8090265
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 27 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
We report a paper-based self-powered sensor patch for prevention and management of exercise-induced hypoglycemia. The article describes the fabrication, in vitro, and in vivo characterization of the sensor for glucose monitoring in human sweat. This wearable, non-invasive, single-use biosensor integrates a vertically stacked,
[...] Read more.
We report a paper-based self-powered sensor patch for prevention and management of exercise-induced hypoglycemia. The article describes the fabrication, in vitro, and in vivo characterization of the sensor for glucose monitoring in human sweat. This wearable, non-invasive, single-use biosensor integrates a vertically stacked, paper-based glucose/oxygen enzymatic fuel cell into a standard Band-Aid adhesive patch. The paper-based device attaches directly to skin, wicks sweat by using capillary forces to a reservoir where chemical energy is converted to electrical energy, and monitors glucose without external power and sophisticated readout instruments. The device utilizes (1) a 3-D paper-based fuel cell configuration, (2) an electrically conducting microfluidic reservoir for a high anode surface area and efficient mass transfer, and (3) a direct electron transfer between glucose oxidase and anodes for enhanced electron discharge properties. The developed sensor shows a high linearity of current at 0.02–1.0 mg/mL glucose centration (R2 = 0.989) with a high sensitivity of 1.35 µA/mM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paper-Based Transducers and Electronics)
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Open AccessArticle Visualization Study of Oil-in-Water-in-Oil (O/W/O) Double Emulsion Formation in a Simple and Robust Co-Flowing Microfluidic Device
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 268; doi:10.3390/mi8090268
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 27 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
A simple and robust co-flowing microfluidic device for double emulsion preparation is designed and assembled to visually study the double emulsion formation by the use of a microscope and high-speed camera. Using a visualization system, the transient processes of double emulsion formation in
[...] Read more.
A simple and robust co-flowing microfluidic device for double emulsion preparation is designed and assembled to visually study the double emulsion formation by the use of a microscope and high-speed camera. Using a visualization system, the transient processes of double emulsion formation in co-flowing stream are observed and recorded for a variety of flow rates. The effects of flow rates of each fluid on flow modes, drop sizes, and polydispersities are examined and analyzed. The results indicate that the detaching of the inner drops accelerates the detaching of the outer drops and speeds up the drop formation process of double emulsions. The manipulation of flow rates is capable to actively control the sizes of the inner and outer drops as well as the number of inner drops encapsulated. Without surface modification, the microfluidic device produces a variety of emulsions, including the single-core and multi-core O/W/O double emulsions as well as binary emulsions of single and double emulsions. The proposed co-flowing microfluidic device is highly desirable in producing double emulsions in an easy and cheap way. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Lab-on-a-Chip)
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Open AccessArticle Miniaturization of Implantable Micro-Robot Propulsion Using a Wireless Power Transfer System
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 269; doi:10.3390/mi8090269
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents an efficient coil design for a mm-sized micro-robot which generates a propulsion force and torque and receives electrical energy using a wireless power transfer system. To determine the most efficient coil structures and produce propulsion and torque on the micro-robot,
[...] Read more.
This paper presents an efficient coil design for a mm-sized micro-robot which generates a propulsion force and torque and receives electrical energy using a wireless power transfer system. To determine the most efficient coil structures and produce propulsion and torque on the micro-robot, both helical and spiral coil modeling was conducted, and analytical formulations of the propulsion force and torque were derived for helical and spiral coil structures. Additionally, the dominant dimensional factors for determining propulsion and coil torque were analyzed in detail. Based on the results, an optimum coil structure for generating maximum force on the micro-robot was developed and is herein presented with dimensional analysis. Simulations and experiments were also conducted to verify the design, and good agreement was achieved. A 3-mm micro-robot that simultaneously generated a propulsion force and torque and received electrical energy via wireless power transfer was successfully fabricated using the proposed method and verified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wireless Microdevices and Systems for Biomedical Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Encapsulation of Piezoelectric Transducers for Sensory Augmentation and Substitution with Wearable Haptic Devices
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 270; doi:10.3390/mi8090270
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 2 September 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4587 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The integration of polymeric actuators in haptic displays is widespread nowadays, especially in virtual reality and rehabilitation applications. However, we are still far from optimizing the transducer ability in conveying sensory information. Here, we present a vibrotactile actuator characterized by a piezoelectric disk
[...] Read more.
The integration of polymeric actuators in haptic displays is widespread nowadays, especially in virtual reality and rehabilitation applications. However, we are still far from optimizing the transducer ability in conveying sensory information. Here, we present a vibrotactile actuator characterized by a piezoelectric disk embedded in a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) shell. An original encapsulation technique was performed to provide the stiff active element with a compliant cover as an interface towards the soft human skin. The interface stiffness, together with the new geometry, generated an effective transmission of vibrotactile stimulation and made the encapsulated transducer a performant component for the development of wearable tactile displays. The mechanical behavior of the developed transducer was numerically modeled as a function of the driving voltage and frequency, and the exerted normal forces were experimentally measured with a load cell. The actuator was then tested for the integration in a haptic glove in single-finger and bi-finger condition, in a 2-AFC tactile stimulus recognition test. Psychophysical results across all the tested sensory conditions confirmed that the developed integrated haptic system was effective in delivering vibrotactile information when the frequency applied to the skin is within the 200–700 Hz range and the stimulus variation is larger than 100 Hz. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Design, Characterization and Sensitivity Analysis of a Piezoelectric Ceramic/Metal Composite Transducer
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 271; doi:10.3390/mi8090271
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 13 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
This article presents experimental characterization and numerical simulation techniques used to create large amplitude and high frequency surface waves with the help of a metal/ceramic composite transducer array. Four piezoelectric bimorph transducers are cascaded and operated in a nonlinear regime, creating broad band
[...] Read more.
This article presents experimental characterization and numerical simulation techniques used to create large amplitude and high frequency surface waves with the help of a metal/ceramic composite transducer array. Four piezoelectric bimorph transducers are cascaded and operated in a nonlinear regime, creating broad band resonant vibrations. The used metallic plate itself resembles a movable wall which can align perfectly with an airfoil surface. A phase-shifted operation of the actuators results in local displacements that generate a surface wave in the boundary layer for an active turbulence control application. The primary focus of this article is actuator design and a systematic parameter variation experiment which helped optimize its nonlinear dynamics. Finite Element Model (FEM) simulations were performed for different design variants, with a primary focus in particular on the minimization of bending stress seen directly on the piezo elements while achieving the highest possible deflection of the vibrating metallic plate. Large output force and a small yield stress (leading to a relatively small output stoke) are characteristics intrinsic to the stiff piezo-ceramics. Optimized piezo thickness and its spatial distribution on the bending surface resulted in an efficient stress management within the bimorph design. Thus, our proposed resonant transduction array achieved surface vibrations with a maximum peak-to-peak amplitude of 500 μ m in a frequency range around 1200 Hz. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric MEMS)
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Open AccessArticle Modeling and Quantitative Analysis of GNSS/INS Deep Integration Tracking Loops in High Dynamics
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 272; doi:10.3390/mi8090272
Received: 18 July 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
To meet the requirements of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) precision applications in high dynamics, this paper describes a study on the carrier phase tracking technology of the GNSS/inertial navigation system (INS) deep integration system. The error propagation models of INS-aided carrier tracking
[...] Read more.
To meet the requirements of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) precision applications in high dynamics, this paper describes a study on the carrier phase tracking technology of the GNSS/inertial navigation system (INS) deep integration system. The error propagation models of INS-aided carrier tracking loops are modeled in detail in high dynamics. Additionally, quantitative analysis of carrier phase tracking errors caused by INS error sources is carried out under the uniform high dynamic linear acceleration motion of 100 g. Results show that the major INS error sources, affecting the carrier phase tracking accuracy in high dynamics, include initial attitude errors, accelerometer scale factors, gyro noise and gyro g-sensitivity errors. The initial attitude errors are usually combined with the receiver acceleration to impact the tracking loop performance, which can easily cause the failure of carrier phase tracking. The main INS error factors vary with the vehicle motion direction and the relative position of the receiver and the satellites. The analysis results also indicate that the low-cost micro-electro mechanical system (MEMS) inertial measurement units (IMU) has the ability to maintain GNSS carrier phase tracking in high dynamics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Novel Method and Mechanism for Micro-Sphere Singularization
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 273; doi:10.3390/mi8090273
Received: 3 July 2017 / Revised: 31 July 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
The paper presents an innovative mechanism for the singularization of micro-spheres, which can be effectively employed in a diverse range of robotized applications in micro-electronics and micro-mechanics. Many miniaturized devices are currently being developed and consist of different micro-components to be precisely assembled.
[...] Read more.
The paper presents an innovative mechanism for the singularization of micro-spheres, which can be effectively employed in a diverse range of robotized applications in micro-electronics and micro-mechanics. Many miniaturized devices are currently being developed and consist of different micro-components to be precisely assembled. The demanding product and process requirements can be met by automating the assembly phases, which include sorting and feeding the micro-components. Therefore, accurate, high-throughput, and modular mechanisms and tools able to supply a number of micro-components, or even a single element for the subsequent operations, play a significant role. In this context, this work focused on the development of a novel strategy for separating a single component from an unstructured stock of identical parts, in particular of micro-spheres with diameters of 0.2–1 mm. Suitable expedients were considered to overcome the adhesive effects that can become significant at the micro-scale due to the very small size and low mass of the micro-spheres. The paper describes the operating principle and the actuation strategies of the mechanism. The design and the development of a prototype for singularizing micro-spheres with a diameter of 0.6 mm are thoroughly discussed. Finally, the results of experimental singularization tests demonstrate the method effectiveness and the mechanism performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ultra-Stretchable Interconnects for High-Density Stretchable Electronics
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 277; doi:10.3390/mi8090277
Received: 10 July 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
PDF Full-text (5902 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The exciting field of stretchable electronics (SE) promises numerous novel applications, particularly in-body and medical diagnostics devices. However, future advanced SE miniature devices will require high-density, extremely stretchable interconnects with micron-scale footprints, which calls for proven standardized (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS)-type) process recipes
[...] Read more.
The exciting field of stretchable electronics (SE) promises numerous novel applications, particularly in-body and medical diagnostics devices. However, future advanced SE miniature devices will require high-density, extremely stretchable interconnects with micron-scale footprints, which calls for proven standardized (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS)-type) process recipes using bulk integrated circuit (IC) microfabrication tools and fine-pitch photolithography patterning. Here, we address this combined challenge of microfabrication with extreme stretchability for high-density SE devices by introducing CMOS-enabled, free-standing, miniaturized interconnect structures that fully exploit their 3D kinematic freedom through an interplay of buckling, torsion, and bending to maximize stretchability. Integration with standard CMOS-type batch processing is assured by utilizing the Flex-to-Rigid (F2R) post-processing technology to make the back-end-of-line interconnect structures free-standing, thus enabling the routine microfabrication of highly-stretchable interconnects. The performance and reproducibility of these free-standing structures is promising: an elastic stretch beyond 2000% and ultimate (plastic) stretch beyond 3000%, with <0.3% resistance change, and >10 million cycles at 1000% stretch with <1% resistance change. This generic technology provides a new route to exciting highly-stretchable miniature devices. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Simulation, Fabrication and Analysis of Silver Based Ascending Sinusoidal Microchannel (ASMC) for Implant of Varicose Veins
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 278; doi:10.3390/mi8090278
Received: 6 June 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
Bioengineered veins can benefit humans needing bypass surgery, dialysis, and now, in the treatment of varicose veins. The implant of this vein in varicose veins has significant advantages over the conventional treatment methods. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), vein patch repair, pulmonary embolus, and
[...] Read more.
Bioengineered veins can benefit humans needing bypass surgery, dialysis, and now, in the treatment of varicose veins. The implant of this vein in varicose veins has significant advantages over the conventional treatment methods. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), vein patch repair, pulmonary embolus, and tissue-damaging problems can be solved with this implant. Here, the authors have proposed biomedical microdevices as an alternative for varicose veins. MATLAB and ANSYS Fluent have been used for simulations of blood flow for bioengineered veins. The silver based microchannel has been fabricated by using a micromachining process. The dimensions of the silver substrates are 51 mm, 25 mm, and 1.1 mm, in length, width, and depth respectively. The dimensions of microchannels grooved in the substrates are 0.9 mm in width and depth. The boundary conditions for pressure and velocity were considered, from 1.0 kPa to 1.50 kPa, and 0.02 m/s to 0.07 m/s, respectively. These are the actual values of pressure and velocity in varicose veins. The flow rate of 5.843 (0.1 nL/s) and velocity of 5.843 cm/s were determined at Reynolds number 164.88 in experimental testing. The graphs and results from simulations and experiments are in close agreement. These microchannels can be inserted into varicose veins as a replacement to maintain the excellent blood flow in human legs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Microdevices and Micromachines)
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Open AccessArticle Multi-Objective Topology Optimization of a Compliant Parallel Planar Mechanism under Combined Load Cases and Constraints
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 279; doi:10.3390/mi8090279
Received: 1 July 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
This paper focuses on a new type of configuration design of a compliant parallel mechanism (CPM) planar continuum structure and its characteristic analysis of vibration-inherent frequency for planar motion, which can suppress the impact of random vibration in ultra-precision positioning and manufacturing equipment
[...] Read more.
This paper focuses on a new type of configuration design of a compliant parallel mechanism (CPM) planar continuum structure and its characteristic analysis of vibration-inherent frequency for planar motion, which can suppress the impact of random vibration in ultra-precision positioning and manufacturing equipment and improve the inherent frequency response of the mechanism. Firstly, a vector-mapping isomorphism between the fully CPM and conventional isomorphic parallel mechanism was constructed with a kinematic differential Jacobian matrix. Then, the mathematical model of topology optimization was put forward considering the compromise programming on the static stiffness and mean vibration-inherent frequency of the mechanism as the design variable and the minimization of compliance as the objective function. A constraint of volume fraction was considered and multi-objective micro displacement mechanism topology optimization based on a prismatic-revolute-revolute (3-PRR) planar nano-positioning continuum structure was performed using the solid isotropic material with penalization (SIMP) technique, which combines the criteria of the optimization algorithm and the vector isomorphic mapping method. Multi-objective topology optimization of the continuum structure micro displacement mechanism was investigated and presented by optimizations with different initial rejection rates. The simulation results show that the stiffness and vibration suppression performance of the continuum structure were improved, whereas the positioning of differential kinematics characteristics of the 3-PRR micro displacement planar fully CPM and isomorphic prototype mechanism retain the same. The modal analysis also provides a rational configuration for the micro displacement mechanism dimensional design and its optimal modal parameters. The crossover oscillation in frequency response of the continuum structure was reduced and quickly converged in the optimization iterations. The performance of the optimized mechanism was verified by the experiments on a planar fully compliant micro displacement continuum structure based on Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) actuator. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Introduction of a Chemical-Free Metal PDMS Thermal Bonding for Fabrication of Flexible Electrode by Metal Transfer onto PDMS
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 280; doi:10.3390/mi8090280
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is a flexible and biocompatible material widely used in the fabrication of microfluidic devices, and is often studied for the fabrication of flexible electrodes. The most popular method of fabricating a flexible electrode using PDMS is done by transferring a metal
[...] Read more.
Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is a flexible and biocompatible material widely used in the fabrication of microfluidic devices, and is often studied for the fabrication of flexible electrodes. The most popular method of fabricating a flexible electrode using PDMS is done by transferring a metal electrode onto said PDMS. However, the transfer process is difficult and the transferred metal layer is easily damaged due to inherently weak adhesion forces between the metal and PDMS, thus requiring a chemical treatment or sacrificial layer between the two. The fabrication process using a chemical treatment or sacrificial layer is complicated and expensive, which is the major limitation of using PDMS in the fabrication of flexible electrodes. This paper discusses the findings of a possible solution to create strong bonding between PDMS and various metals (copper, nickel and silver) using a chemical-free metal to PDMS thermal bonding technique. This method is the same as the PDMS curing process, but with a variation in the curing condition. The condition required to create strong bonding was studied by observing copper transferred by various PDMS curing conditions, including the standard condition. The condition creating the strong bonding was baking PDMS (5:1 = base polymer: curing agent) at 150 °C for 20 min. Experimentation showed that the optimum thickness of the transferred metal shows that the optimum thickness is approximately 500 nm, which allows for a higher resistance to stresses. The successful transfer of copper, nickel and silver layers onto PDMS with a stronger adhesion force opens up many new applications dealing with the fabrication of flexible electrodes, sensors, and flexible soft magnets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Accurate Extraction of the Self-Rotational Speed for Cells in an Electrokinetics Force Field by an Image Matching Algorithm
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 282; doi:10.3390/mi8090282
Received: 30 July 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract
We present an image-matching-based automated algorithm capable of accurately determining the self-rotational speed of cancer cells in an optically-induced electrokinetics-based microfluidic chip. To automatically track a specific cell in a video featuring more than one cell, a background subtraction technique was used. To
[...] Read more.
We present an image-matching-based automated algorithm capable of accurately determining the self-rotational speed of cancer cells in an optically-induced electrokinetics-based microfluidic chip. To automatically track a specific cell in a video featuring more than one cell, a background subtraction technique was used. To determine the rotational speeds of cells, a reference frame was automatically selected and curve fitting was performed to improve the stability and accuracy. Results show that the algorithm was able to accurately calculate the self-rotational speeds of cells up to ~150 rpm. In addition, the algorithm could be used to determine the motion trajectories of the cells. Potential applications for the developed algorithm include the differentiation of cell morphology and characterization of cell electrical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Robotics, Volume II)
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Open AccessArticle Numerical Investigation of a Novel Wiring Scheme Enabling Simple and Accurate Impedance Cytometry
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 283; doi:10.3390/mi8090283
Received: 13 August 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
PDF Full-text (4688 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Microfluidic impedance cytometry is a label-free approach for high-throughput analysis of particles and cells. It is based on the characterization of the dielectric properties of single particles as they flow through a microchannel with integrated electrodes. However, the measured signal depends not only
[...] Read more.
Microfluidic impedance cytometry is a label-free approach for high-throughput analysis of particles and cells. It is based on the characterization of the dielectric properties of single particles as they flow through a microchannel with integrated electrodes. However, the measured signal depends not only on the intrinsic particle properties, but also on the particle trajectory through the measuring region, thus challenging the resolution and accuracy of the technique. In this work we show via simulation that this issue can be overcome without resorting to particle focusing, by means of a straightforward modification of the wiring scheme for the most typical and widely used microfluidic impedance chip. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microfluidic Devices for High-Throughput Screening)
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Open AccessArticle PMMA Solution Assisted Room Temperature Bonding for PMMA–PC Hybrid Devices
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 284; doi:10.3390/mi8090284
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 17 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
Recently, thermoplastic polymers have become popular materials for microfluidic chips due to their easy fabrication and low cost. A polymer based microfluidic device can be formed in various fabrication techniques such as laser machining, injection molding, and hot embossing. A new bonding process
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Recently, thermoplastic polymers have become popular materials for microfluidic chips due to their easy fabrication and low cost. A polymer based microfluidic device can be formed in various fabrication techniques such as laser machining, injection molding, and hot embossing. A new bonding process presented in this paper uses a 2.5% (w/w) polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) solution as an adhesive layer to bond dissimilar polymers—PMMA to polycarbonate (PC)—to enclose the PMMA microfluidic channels with PC. This technique has been successfully demonstrated to bond PMMA microchip to PC film. This paper presents bonding strength using a shear strength test and a crack opening method in addition to the fluidic leakage inspection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Based MEMS and Microfabrication)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Custom-Designed Glassy Carbon Tips for Atomic Force Microscopy
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 285; doi:10.3390/mi8090285
Received: 21 August 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 16 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
Glassy carbon is a graphenic form of elemental carbon obtained from pyrolysis of carbon-rich precursor polymers that can be patterned using various lithographic techniques. It is electrically and thermally conductive, mechanically strong, light, corrosion resistant and easy to functionalize. These properties render it
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Glassy carbon is a graphenic form of elemental carbon obtained from pyrolysis of carbon-rich precursor polymers that can be patterned using various lithographic techniques. It is electrically and thermally conductive, mechanically strong, light, corrosion resistant and easy to functionalize. These properties render it very suitable for Carbon-microelectromechanical systems (Carbon-MEMS) and nanoelectromechanical systems (Carbon-NEMS) applications. Here we report on the fabrication and characterization of fully operational, microfabricated glassy carbon nano-tips for Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). These tips are 3D-printed on to micro-machined silicon cantilevers by Two-Photon Polymerization (2PP) of acrylate-based photopolymers (commercially known as IP-series resists), followed by their carbonization employing controlled pyrolysis, which shrinks the patterned structure by ≥98% in volume. Tip performance and robustness during contact and dynamic AFM modes are validated by morphology and wear tests. The design and pyrolysis process optimization performed for this work indicate which parameters require special attention when IP-series polymers are used for the fabrication of Carbon-MEMS and NEMS. Microstructural characterization of the resulting material confirms that it features a frozen percolated network of graphene sheets accompanied by disordered carbon and voids, similar to typical glassy carbons. The presented facile fabrication method can be employed for obtaining a variety of 3D glassy carbon nanostructures starting from the stereolithographic designs provided by the user. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Based Materials for MEMS/NEMS)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Stroke Management: An Emerging Role of Nanotechnology
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 262; doi:10.3390/mi8090262
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 9 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
Stroke is among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Stroke incidences and associated mortality are expected to rise to 23 million and 7.8 million, respectively, by 2030. Further, the aging population, imbalanced lifestyles, and environmental factors continue to shift the rate
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Stroke is among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Stroke incidences and associated mortality are expected to rise to 23 million and 7.8 million, respectively, by 2030. Further, the aging population, imbalanced lifestyles, and environmental factors continue to shift the rate of stroke incidence, particularly in developing countries. There is an urgent need to develop new therapeutic approaches for treating stroke. Nanotechnology is a growing field, offering an encouraging future prospect for medical research in the management of strokes. The world market for nanotechnology derived products is expected to rise manyfold in the coming decades. Different types of nanomaterials such as perfluorocarbon nanoparticles, iron oxide nanoparticles, gold nanoparticles, polymeric nanoparticles, quantum dots, nanospheres, etc. have been developed for the diagnosis as well as therapy of strokes. Today, nanotechnology has also been integrated with stem cell therapy for treating stroke. However several obstacles remain to be overcome when using such nanomaterials for treating stroke and other neurological diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Applications of Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials)
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Open AccessReview Towards Multiplex Molecular Diagnosis—A Review of Microfluidic Genomics Technologies
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 266; doi:10.3390/mi8090266
Received: 15 May 2017 / Revised: 30 June 2017 / Accepted: 16 July 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Highly sensitive and specific pathogen diagnosis is essential for correct and timely treatment of infectious diseases, especially virulent strains, in people. Point-of-care pathogen diagnosis can be a tremendous help in managing disease outbreaks as well as in routine healthcare settings. Infectious pathogens can
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Highly sensitive and specific pathogen diagnosis is essential for correct and timely treatment of infectious diseases, especially virulent strains, in people. Point-of-care pathogen diagnosis can be a tremendous help in managing disease outbreaks as well as in routine healthcare settings. Infectious pathogens can be identified with high specificity using molecular methods. A plethora of microfluidic innovations in recent years have now made it increasingly feasible to develop portable, robust, accurate, and sensitive genomic diagnostic devices for deployment at the point of care. However, improving processing time, multiplexed detection, sensitivity and limit of detection, specificity, and ease of deployment in resource-limited settings are ongoing challenges. This review outlines recent techniques in microfluidic genomic diagnosis and devices with a focus on integrating them into a lab on a chip that will lead towards the development of multiplexed point-of-care devices of high sensitivity and specificity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Microfluidic Devices)
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Open AccessReview How to Make a Fast, Efficient Bubble-Driven Micromotor: A Mechanical View
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 267; doi:10.3390/mi8090267
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Micromotors, which can be moved at a micron scale, have special functions and can perform microscopic tasks. They have a wide range of applications in various fields with the advantages of small size and high efficiency. Both high speed and efficiency for micromotors
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Micromotors, which can be moved at a micron scale, have special functions and can perform microscopic tasks. They have a wide range of applications in various fields with the advantages of small size and high efficiency. Both high speed and efficiency for micromotors are required in various conditions. However, the dynamical mechanism of bubble-driven micromotors movement is not clear, owing to various factors affecting the movement of micromotors. This paper reviews various factors acting on micromotor movement, and summarizes appropriate methods to improve the velocity and efficiency of bubble-driven micromotors, from a mechanical view. The dynamical factors that have significant influence on the hydrodynamic performance of micromotors could be divided into two categories: environment and geometry. Improving environment temperature and decreasing viscosity of fluid accelerate the velocity of motors. Under certain conditions, raising the concentration of hydrogen peroxide is applied. However, a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide is not applicable. In the environment of low concentration, changing the geometry of micromotors is an effective mean to improve the velocity of micromotors. Increasing semi-cone angle and reducing the ratio of length to radius for tubular and rod micromotors are propitious to increase the speed of micromotors. For Janus micromotors, reducing the mass by changing the shape into capsule and shell, and increasing the surface roughness, is applied. This review could provide references for improving the velocity and efficiency of micromotors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Locomotion at Small Scales: From Biology to Artificial Systems)
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Open AccessReview A Review on Micromixers
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 274; doi:10.3390/mi8090274
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
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Abstract
Microfluidic devices have attracted increasing attention in the fields of biomedical diagnostics, food safety control, environmental protection, and animal epidemic prevention. Micromixing has a considerable impact on the efficiency and sensitivity of microfluidic devices. This work reviews recent advances on the passive and
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Microfluidic devices have attracted increasing attention in the fields of biomedical diagnostics, food safety control, environmental protection, and animal epidemic prevention. Micromixing has a considerable impact on the efficiency and sensitivity of microfluidic devices. This work reviews recent advances on the passive and active micromixers for the development of various microfluidic chips. Recently reported active micromixers driven by pressure fields, electrical fields, sound fields, magnetic fields, and thermal fields, etc. and passive micromixers, which owned two-dimensional obstacles, unbalanced collisions, spiral and convergence-divergence structures or three-dimensional lamination and spiral structures, were summarized and discussed. The future trends for micromixers to combine with 3D printing and paper channel were brought forth as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Passive Micromixers)
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Open AccessReview Progress in Research of Flexible MEMS Microelectrodes for Neural Interface
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 281; doi:10.3390/mi8090281
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 20 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract
With the rapid development of Micro-electro-mechanical Systems (MEMS) fabrication technologies, many microelectrodes with various structures and functions have been designed and fabricated for applications in biomedical research, diagnosis and treatment through electrical stimulation and electrophysiological signal recording. The flexible MEMS microelectrodes exhibit excellent
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With the rapid development of Micro-electro-mechanical Systems (MEMS) fabrication technologies, many microelectrodes with various structures and functions have been designed and fabricated for applications in biomedical research, diagnosis and treatment through electrical stimulation and electrophysiological signal recording. The flexible MEMS microelectrodes exhibit excellent characteristics in many aspects beyond stiff microelectrodes based on silicon or metal, including: lighter weight, smaller volume, better conforming to neural tissue and lower fabrication cost. In this paper, we reviewed the key technologies in flexible MEMS microelectrodes for neural interface in recent years, including: design and fabrication technology, flexible MEMS microelectrodes with fluidic channels and electrode–tissue interface modification technology for performance improvement. Furthermore, the future directions of flexible MEMS microelectrodes for neural interface were described, including transparent and stretchable microelectrodes integrated with multi-functional aspects and next-generation electrode–tissue interface modifications, which facilitated electrode efficacy and safety during implantation. Finally, we predict that the relationships between micro fabrication techniques, and biomedical engineering and nanotechnology represented by flexible MEMS microelectrodes for neural interface, will open a new gate to better understanding the neural system and brain diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flexible and Stretchable Electronics) Printed Edition available
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Other

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Open AccessCreative Research on Design and Simulation of Biaxial Tensile-Bending Complex Mechanical Performance Test Apparatus
Micromachines 2017, 8(9), 286; doi:10.3390/mi8090286
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
In order to realize a micro-mechanic performance test of biaxial tensile-bending-combined loading and solve the problem of incompatibility of test apparatus and observation apparatus, novel biaxial-combined tensile-bending micro-mechanical performance test apparatus was designed. The working principle and major functions of key constituent parts
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In order to realize a micro-mechanic performance test of biaxial tensile-bending-combined loading and solve the problem of incompatibility of test apparatus and observation apparatus, novel biaxial-combined tensile-bending micro-mechanical performance test apparatus was designed. The working principle and major functions of key constituent parts of test apparatus, including the servo drive unit, clamping unit and test system, were introduced. Based on the finite element method, biaxial tensile and tension-bending-combined mechanical performances of the test-piece were studied as guidance to learn the distribution of elastic deformation and plastic deformation of all sites of the test-piece and to better plan test regions. Finally, this test apparatus was used to conduct a biaxial tensile test under different pre-bending loading and a tensile test at different rates; the image of the fracture of the test-piece was acquired by a scanning electron microscope and analyzed. It was indicated that as the pre-bending force rises, the elastic deformation phase would gradually shorten and the slope of the elastic deformation phase curve would slightly rise so that a yield limit would appear ahead of time. Bending speed could exert a positive and beneficial influence on tensile strength but weaken fracture elongation. If bending speed is appropriately raised, more ideal anti-tensile strength could be obtained, but fracture elongation would decline. Full article
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