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Anal Chem. 2002 Aug 15;74(16):4117-23.

Surface modification of poly(dimethylsiloxane) microfluidic devices by ultraviolet polymer grafting.

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Center for Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine 92697, USA.


Poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)-based microfluidic devices are increasing in popularity due to their ease of fabrication and low costs. Despite this, there is a tremendous need for strategies to rapidly and easily tailor the surface properties of these devices. We demonstrate a one-step procedure to covalently link polymers to the surface of PDMS microchannels by ultraviolet graft polymerization. Acrylic acid, acrylamide, dimethylacrylamide, 2-hydroxylethyl acrylate, and poly(ethylene glycol)monomethoxyl acrylate were grafted onto PDMS to yield hydrophilic surfaces. Water droplets possessed contact angles as low as 45 degrees on the grafted surfaces. Microchannels constructed from the grafted PDMS were readily filled with aqueous solutions in contrast to devices composed of native PDMS. The grafted surfaces also displayed a substantially reduced adsorption of two test peptides compared to that of oxidized PDMS. Microchannels with grafted surfaces exhibited electroosmotic mobilities intermediate to those displayed by native and oxidized PDMS. Unlike the electroosmotic mobility of oxidized PDMS, the electroosmotic mobility of the grafted surfaces remained stable upon exposure to air. The electrophoretic resolution of two test peptides in the grafted microchannels was considerably improved compared to that in microchannels composed of oxidized PDMS. By using the appropriate monomer, it should be possible to use UV grafting to impart a variety of surface properties to PDMS microfluidics devices.

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