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Biosens Bioelectron. 2004 Apr 15;19(9):1037-44.

Poly(ethylene glycol) interfaces: an approach for enhanced performance of microfluidic systems.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 44 Cummington Street, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Microfluidic systems are extensively used platform for analytical and therapeutic applications. One of the major problems encountered in these systems is the loss of material due to non-specific surface interactions. When biological solutions are flowed through microchannels, they tend to adsorb on the surface due to the negative charge of the surface. This results in a reduced efficiency of the system which can be critical in sensitive biological analysis. Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) is known to form non-fouling interfaces on silicon and glass which are common materials used in microfluidic systems. The most common approach for modifying silicon/glass with PEG involves a solution phase protocol. Since the micro/nanofluidic systems have channel sizes ranging from hundreds of microns to submicron with variety of complicated network, this surface modification approach is not sufficient in forming uniform, conformal, and ultrathin films on the surface. Due to the enclosed features in these systems, the properties of liquids such as viscosity and surface tension play an important role in the clogging and eventually biofouling of these microchannels. Hence, we have developed a solvent-free vapor deposition protocol for modifying silicon/glass surfaces with PEG. Various concentrations of protein solutions were flowed through unmodified and PEG-modified glass microcapillaries of different lengths at different flow rates. PEG surfaces formed on silicon have shown 80% reduction in protein adsorption in static conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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