Reduction of the Hydrophobicity of Thiol-ene Microfluidic Devices Using an Adsorbed Polymeric Coating

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Thiol-ene based materials have gained a considerable interest in the field of micro and nano fluidics because of their physico-chemical properties and their polymerization characteristics. Unfortunately, the hydrophobic nature of this material represents a considerable drawback to its application in micro and nano fluidics: its low wettability and unspecific protein binding lead to poor analytical performance and make its use with biological samples unsuitable. In this work, we present a simple approach to reduce dramatically the hydrophobicity of thiol-ene surfaces and to avoid protein unspecific binding by photo-grafting to the surface a ter polymer of dimethylacrylamide (DMA), glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) and 3-(trimethoxysilyl) propyl methacrylate (MAPS). The single-step coating procedure simply consists in the UV light assisted grafting of the polymer dissolved in an aqueous solution, without any surface pre-treatment. After the coating process, whose conditions have been optimized, the contact angle of the substrate, decreases from 68° to 40° and remains stable for long period of time and also in harsh conditions (such as solvents or high temperature). Due to its versatility, the new proposed polymeric coating is thus suitable to enhance the analytical performance of any thiol-ene based micro and nano fluidic device.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Nanotechnology 2013: Electronics, Devices, Fabrication, MEMS, Fluidics and Computational (Volume 2)
Published: May 12, 2013
Pages: 301 - 304
Industry sector: Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topics: Modeling & Simulation of Microsystems
ISBN: 978-1-4822-0584-8