We report a novel reliable and repeatable technologic manufacturing protocol for the realization of micro-patterned freestanding hydrogel layers based on thermo-responsive poly-(N-isopropyl)acrylamide (PNIPAAm), which have potential to be employed as temperature-triggered smart surfaces for cells-on-chip applications. PNIPAAm-based films with controlled mechanical properties and different thicknesses (100-300m thickness) were prepared by injection compression moulding at room temperature. A 9×9 array of 20m diameter through-holes is machined by means of the KrF excimer laser on dry PNIPAAm films which are physically attached to flat polyvinyl chloride (PVC) substrates. Machining parameters, such as fluence and number of shots, are optimized in order to achieve highly resolved features. Micro-structured freestanding films are then easily obtained after hydrogels are detached from PVC by gradually promoting the film swelling in ethanol. In the PNIPAAm water-swollen state, the machined holes diameter approaches a slight larger value (30m) according to the measured hydrogel swelling ratio. Thermo-responsive behaviour and through-hole tapering characterization are carried out by metrology measurements using an optical inverted and confocal microscope setup, respectively. After the temperature of freestanding films is raised above 32°C, we observe that the shrinkage of the whole through-hole array occurs, thus reducing the holes diameter to less than a half its original size (about 15m) as a consequence of the film dehydration. Different holes diameters (10 and 30m) are also obtained on dry hydrogel employing suitable projection masks, showing similar shrinking behaviour when hydrated and undergone thermo-response tests. Thermo-responsive PNIPAAm-based freestanding layers could then be integrated with other suitable micro-fabricated thermoplastic components in order to preliminary test their feasibility in operating as temperature- activated components in the frame of the development of microfluidic devices in multilayer hybrid materials.

Excimer laser micropatterning of freestanding thermo-responsive hydrogel layers for cells-on-chip applications / T. Santaniello, F. Martello, A. Tocchio, F. Gassa, P. Webb, P. Milani, C. Lenardi. - In: JOURNAL OF MICROMECHANICS AND MICROENGINEERING. - ISSN 0960-1317. - 22:10(2012), pp. 105033.1-105033.12.

Excimer laser micropatterning of freestanding thermo-responsive hydrogel layers for cells-on-chip applications

T. Santaniello;F. Martello;A. Tocchio;F. Gassa;P. Milani;C. Lenardi
2012

Abstract

We report a novel reliable and repeatable technologic manufacturing protocol for the realization of micro-patterned freestanding hydrogel layers based on thermo-responsive poly-(N-isopropyl)acrylamide (PNIPAAm), which have potential to be employed as temperature-triggered smart surfaces for cells-on-chip applications. PNIPAAm-based films with controlled mechanical properties and different thicknesses (100-300m thickness) were prepared by injection compression moulding at room temperature. A 9×9 array of 20m diameter through-holes is machined by means of the KrF excimer laser on dry PNIPAAm films which are physically attached to flat polyvinyl chloride (PVC) substrates. Machining parameters, such as fluence and number of shots, are optimized in order to achieve highly resolved features. Micro-structured freestanding films are then easily obtained after hydrogels are detached from PVC by gradually promoting the film swelling in ethanol. In the PNIPAAm water-swollen state, the machined holes diameter approaches a slight larger value (30m) according to the measured hydrogel swelling ratio. Thermo-responsive behaviour and through-hole tapering characterization are carried out by metrology measurements using an optical inverted and confocal microscope setup, respectively. After the temperature of freestanding films is raised above 32°C, we observe that the shrinkage of the whole through-hole array occurs, thus reducing the holes diameter to less than a half its original size (about 15m) as a consequence of the film dehydration. Different holes diameters (10 and 30m) are also obtained on dry hydrogel employing suitable projection masks, showing similar shrinking behaviour when hydrated and undergone thermo-response tests. Thermo-responsive PNIPAAm-based freestanding layers could then be integrated with other suitable micro-fabricated thermoplastic components in order to preliminary test their feasibility in operating as temperature- activated components in the frame of the development of microfluidic devices in multilayer hybrid materials.
Mechanical Engineering; Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Mechanics of Materials; Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
Settore FIS/03 - Fisica della Materia
JOURNAL OF MICROMECHANICS AND MICROENGINEERING
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/258080
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