Self-responsive hydrophilic/hydrophobic surfaces and their application to microfluidic liquid and droplet manipulation
Microfluidics has gained wide popularity with its unique capabilities for handling minuscule sample quantities and providing platforms for automation, integration, multiplexing and high-throughput screening. For a microfluidic device, one of the challenging operations is the efficient liquid dispensation, since bioreactions are often performed in a small volume ranging from nanoliters to microliters. On-chip manipulation technique of minute volumes of liquid thus is essential for miniaturization of biochemical diagnostic devices or micro reactors. In this project, a smart material will be used to control sample introduction by controlled switching between a hydrophobic and hydrophilic state. This PhD project will aim at developing suitable coating and control techniques, aiming at fast and reliable switching. The project is a cooperation with prof. Lingling Shui in South China Normal University in Guangzhou, China, in the joint SCNU-BIOS laboratory LOTS.