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Surface Textured Polymer Fibers for Microfluidics

Authors

  • Adem Yildirim,

    1. UNAM-National Nanotechnology Research Center and Institute of Materials Science and Nanotechnology, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey
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  • Muhammad Yunusa,

    1. UNAM-National Nanotechnology Research Center and Institute of Materials Science and Nanotechnology, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey
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  • Fahri Emre Ozturk,

    1. UNAM-National Nanotechnology Research Center and Institute of Materials Science and Nanotechnology, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey
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  • Mehmet Kanik,

    1. UNAM-National Nanotechnology Research Center and Institute of Materials Science and Nanotechnology, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey
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  • Mehmet Bayindir

    Corresponding author
    1. UNAM-National Nanotechnology Research Center and Institute of Materials Science and Nanotechnology, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey
    2. Department of Physics, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey
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Abstract

This article introduces surface textured polymer fibers as a new platform for the fabrication of affordable microfluidic devices. Fibers are produced tens of meters-long at a time and comprise 20 continuous and ordered channels (equilateral triangle grooves with side lengths as small as 30 micrometers) on their surfaces. Extreme anisotropic spreading behavior due to capillary action along the grooves of fibers is observed after surface modification with polydopamine (PDA). These flexible fibers can be fixed on any surface—independent of its material and shape—to form three-dimensional arrays, which spontaneously spread liquid on predefined paths without the need for external pumps or actuators. Surface textured fibers offer high-throughput fabrication of complex open microfluidic channel geometries, which is challenging to achieve using current photolithography-based techniques. Several microfluidic systems are designed and prepared on either planar or 3D surfaces to demonstrate outstanding capability of the fiber arrays in control of fluid flow in both vertical and lateral directions. Surface textured fibers are well suited to the fabrication of flexible, robust, lightweight, and affordable microfluidic devices, which expand the role of microfluidics in a scope of fields including drug discovery, medical diagnostics, and monitoring food and water quality.

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