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J Sep Sci. 2006 Aug;29(12):1733-42.

Surface engineering of microchannel walls for protein separation and directed microfluidic flow.

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  • 1Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.


The preparation of surfaces in microfluidic devices that selectively retain proteins may be difficult to implement due to the incompatibility of derivatization methods with microdevice fabrication techniques. This review describes recently reported developments in simple and rapid methods for engineering the surface chemistries of microchannels based on construction of press-fit microdevices. These devices are fabricated by placing a glass fiber on a PDMS film and pressing the film on a silicon wafer or a microscope slide that has been derivatized with octadecyltrichlorosilane (ODS). The film adheres to the slide and forms an elliptically shaped channel around the fiber. The combination of surface wettability of a hydrophilic glass microfiber and the surrounding hydrophobic microchannel surfaces directs a narrow boundary layer of liquid next to the fiber in order to bring the sample in contact with the separation media and results in selective retention of proteins. This phenomenon may be exploited to enable microscale separation applications since there are a wide variety of fibers available with different chemistries. These may be used to rapidly fabricate microchannels that serve as stationary phases for separation at a microscale. The fundamental properties of such devices are discussed.

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