Feature Papers of Micromachines in Biology and Biomedicine 2023

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "B:Biology and Biomedicine".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 10048

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Queensland Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre, Griffith University, West Creek Road, Nathan, QLD 4111, Australia
Interests: microfluidics; nanofluidics; micro/nanomachining technologies; micro/nanoscale science; instrumentation for biomedical applications
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce a new Special Issue entitled “Feature Papers of Micromachines in Biology and Biomedicine 2023”. In recent years, we have cooperated with some excellent scholars/scientific groups and published several very important high-level works, which have already been cited according to the data of Web of Science. We aim to introduce a new insight into science development or cutting-edge technology related to micromachines in the field of biology and biomedicine , which will make a great contribution to the community.

This Special Issue will be a collection of high-quality papers from excellent scholars around the world. Both original research articles and comprehensive review papers are welcome. The papers will be published, free of charge, with full open access after peer review to benefit both authors and readers.

You are welcome to send short proposals for submissions of feature papers to our Editorial Office (micromachines@mdpi.com) before submission. They will be evaluated by Editors first. Please note that selected full papers will still be subjected to a thorough and rigorous peer review.

We look forward to receiving your excellent work.

Prof. Dr. Nam-Trung Nguyen
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Micromachines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

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Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 6413 KiB  
Article
Design and Fabrication of a 3D-Printed Microfluidic Immunoarray for Ultrasensitive Multiplexed Protein Detection
by Keshani Hiniduma, Ketki S. Bhalerao, Peyahandi I. Thilini De Silva, Tianqi Chen and James F. Rusling
Micromachines 2023, 14(12), 2187; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14122187 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1224
Abstract
Microfluidic technology has revolutionized device fabrication by merging principles of fluid dynamics with technologies from chemistry, physics, biology, material science, and microelectronics. Microfluidic systems manipulate small volumes of fluids to perform automated tasks with applications ranging from chemical syntheses to biomedical diagnostics. The [...] Read more.
Microfluidic technology has revolutionized device fabrication by merging principles of fluid dynamics with technologies from chemistry, physics, biology, material science, and microelectronics. Microfluidic systems manipulate small volumes of fluids to perform automated tasks with applications ranging from chemical syntheses to biomedical diagnostics. The advent of low-cost 3D printers has revolutionized the development of microfluidic systems. For measuring molecules, 3D printing offers cost-effective, time, and ease-of-designing benefits. In this paper, we present a comprehensive tutorial for design, optimization, and validation for creating a 3D-printed microfluidic immunoarray for ultrasensitive detection of multiple protein biomarkers. The target is the development of a point of care array to determine five protein biomarkers for aggressive cancers. The design phase involves defining dimensions of microchannels, reagent chambers, detection wells, and optimizing parameters and detection methods. In this study, the physical design of the array underwent multiple iterations to optimize key features, such as developing open detection wells for uniform signal distribution and a flap for covering wells during the assay. Then, full signal optimization for sensitivity and limit of detection (LOD) was performed, and calibration plots were generated to assess linear dynamic ranges and LODs. Varying characteristics among biomarkers highlighted the need for tailored assay conditions. Spike-recovery studies confirmed the assay’s accuracy. Overall, this paper showcases the methodology, rigor, and innovation involved in designing a 3D-printed microfluidic immunoarray. Optimized parameters, calibration equations, and sensitivity and accuracy data contribute valuable metrics for future applications in biomarker analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Micromachines in Biology and Biomedicine 2023)
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20 pages, 5676 KiB  
Article
Maximising Affordability of Real-Time Colorimetric LAMP Assays
by Simon Strachan, Moutoshi Chakraborty, Mohamed Sallam, Shamsul A. Bhuiyan, Rebecca Ford and Nam-Trung Nguyen
Micromachines 2023, 14(11), 2101; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14112101 - 15 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 878
Abstract
Molecular diagnostics have become indispensable in healthcare, agriculture, and environmental monitoring. This diagnostic form can offer rapid and precise identification of pathogens and biomarkers. However, traditional laboratory-based molecular testing methods can be expensive and require specialised training, limiting their accessibility in resource-limited settings [...] Read more.
Molecular diagnostics have become indispensable in healthcare, agriculture, and environmental monitoring. This diagnostic form can offer rapid and precise identification of pathogens and biomarkers. However, traditional laboratory-based molecular testing methods can be expensive and require specialised training, limiting their accessibility in resource-limited settings and on-site applications. To overcome these challenges, this study proposes an innovative approach to reducing costs and complexity in portable colorimetric loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) devices. The research evaluates different resistive heating systems to create an energy-efficient, cost-effective, and compact device to heat a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) block for precise temperature control during LAMP reactions. By combining this novel heating system with an off-the-shelf red-green-blue (RGB) sensor to detect and quantify colour changes, the integrated system can accurately detect Leifsonia xyli subsp. xyli, the bacteria responsible for ratoon stunting disease (RSD) in sugarcane. The experimental validation of this system demonstrates its ability to detect the target pathogen in real time, making it an important development for low cost, portable, and easy-to-use molecular diagnostics in healthcare, agriculture, and environmental monitoring applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Micromachines in Biology and Biomedicine 2023)
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16 pages, 6573 KiB  
Article
Porous Microgels for Delivery of Curcumin: Microfluidics-Based Fabrication and Cytotoxicity Evaluation
by Sinem Orbay, Rana Sanyal and Amitav Sanyal
Micromachines 2023, 14(10), 1969; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14101969 - 22 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1166
Abstract
Polymeric microgels, fabricated via microfluidic techniques, have garnered significant interest as versatile drug delivery carriers. Despite the advances, the loading and release of hydrophobic drugs such as curcumin from polymeric microgels is not trivial. Herein, we report that effective drug loading can be [...] Read more.
Polymeric microgels, fabricated via microfluidic techniques, have garnered significant interest as versatile drug delivery carriers. Despite the advances, the loading and release of hydrophobic drugs such as curcumin from polymeric microgels is not trivial. Herein, we report that effective drug loading can be achieved by the design of porous particles and the use of supramolecular cyclodextrin-based curcumin complexes. The fabrication of porous microgels through the judicious choice of chemical precursors under flow conditions was established. The evaluation of the curcumin loading dependence on the porosity of the microgels was performed. Microgels with higher porosity exhibited better curcumin loading compared to those with lower porosity. Curcumin-loaded microgels released the drug, which, upon internalization by U87 MG human glioma cancer cells, induced cytotoxicity. The findings reported here provide valuable insights for the development of tailored drug delivery systems using a microfluidics-based platform and outline a strategy for the effective delivery of hydrophobic therapeutic agents such as curcumin through supramolecular complexation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Micromachines in Biology and Biomedicine 2023)
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14 pages, 3302 KiB  
Article
Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients Increases Neutrophil Chemotaxis Measured by a Microfluidic Platform
by Jiaqi Ren, Wenfang Chen, Zhicheng Zhong, Ning Wang, Xi Chen, Hui Yang, Jing Li, Ping Tang, Yanping Fan, Francis Lin, Changqing Bai and Jiandong Wu
Micromachines 2023, 14(9), 1740; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14091740 - 06 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1215
Abstract
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a persistent and progressive respiratory disorder characterized by expiratory airflow limitation caused by chronic inflammation. Evidence has shown that COPD is correlated with neutrophil chemotaxis towards the airways, resulting in neutrophilic airway inflammation. This study aimed to [...] Read more.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a persistent and progressive respiratory disorder characterized by expiratory airflow limitation caused by chronic inflammation. Evidence has shown that COPD is correlated with neutrophil chemotaxis towards the airways, resulting in neutrophilic airway inflammation. This study aimed to evaluate neutrophil chemotaxis in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from COPD patients using a high-throughput nine-unit microfluidic platform and explore the possible correlations between neutrophil migratory dynamics and COPD development. The results showed that BALF from COPD patients induced stronger neutrophil chemotaxis than the Control BALF. Our results also showed that the chemotactic migration of neutrophils isolated from the blood of COPD patients was not significantly different from neutrophils from healthy controls, and neutrophil migration in three known chemoattractants (fMLP, IL-8, and LTB4) was not affected by glucocorticoid treatment. Moreover, comparison with clinical data showed a trend of a negative relationship between neutrophil migration chemotactic index (C. I.) in COPD BALF and patient’s spirometry data, suggesting a potential correlation between neutrophil migration and the severity of COPD. The present study demonstrated the feasibility of using the microfluidic platform to assess neutrophil chemotaxis in COPD pathogenesis, and it may serve as a potential marker for COPD evaluation in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Micromachines in Biology and Biomedicine 2023)
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11 pages, 7878 KiB  
Article
The Effect of 3D Printing Tilt Angle on the Penetration of 3D-Printed Microneedle Arrays
by Mahmood Razzaghi and Mohsen Akbari
Micromachines 2023, 14(6), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14061157 - 30 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1624
Abstract
Microneedle arrays (MNAs) are emerging devices that are mainly used for drug delivery and diagnostic applications through the skin. Different methods have been used to fabricate MNAs. Recently developed fabrication methods based on 3D printing have many advantages compared to conventional fabrication methods, [...] Read more.
Microneedle arrays (MNAs) are emerging devices that are mainly used for drug delivery and diagnostic applications through the skin. Different methods have been used to fabricate MNAs. Recently developed fabrication methods based on 3D printing have many advantages compared to conventional fabrication methods, such as faster fabrication in one step and the ability to fabricate complex structures with precise control over their geometry, form, size, and mechanical and biological properties. Despite the several advantages that 3D printing offers for the fabrication of microneedles, their poor penetration capability into the skin should be improved. MNAs need a sharp needle tip to penetrate the skin barrier layer, the stratum corneum (SC). This article presents a method to improve the penetration of 3D-printed microneedle arrays by investigating the effect of the printing angle on the penetration force of MNAs. The penetration force needed to puncture the skin for MNAs fabricated using a commercial digital light processing (DLP) printer, with different printing tilt angles (0–60°), was measured in this study. The results showed that the minimum puncture force was achieved using a 45° printing tilt angle. Using this angle, the puncture force was reduced by 38% compared to MNAs printed with a tilting angle of 0°. We also identified that a tip angle of 120° resulted in the smallest penetration force needed to puncture the skin. The outcomes of the research show that the presented method can significantly improve the penetration capability of 3D-printed MNAs into the skin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Micromachines in Biology and Biomedicine 2023)
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15 pages, 2952 KiB  
Article
Innovative Fabrication of Hollow Microneedle Arrays Enabling Blood Sampling with a Self-Powered Microfluidic Patch
by Lorenz Van Hileghem, Shashwat Kushwaha, Agnese Piovesan, Pieter Verboven, Bart Nicolaï, Dominiek Reynaerts, Francesco Dal Dosso and Jeroen Lammertyn
Micromachines 2023, 14(3), 615; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14030615 - 07 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3350
Abstract
Microneedles are gaining a lot of attention in the context of sampling cutaneous biofluids such as capillary blood. Their minimal invasiveness and user-friendliness make them a prominent substitute for venous puncture or finger-pricking. Although the latter is suitable for self-sampling, the impracticality of [...] Read more.
Microneedles are gaining a lot of attention in the context of sampling cutaneous biofluids such as capillary blood. Their minimal invasiveness and user-friendliness make them a prominent substitute for venous puncture or finger-pricking. Although the latter is suitable for self-sampling, the impracticality of manual handling and the difficulty of obtaining enough qualitative sample is driving the search for better solutions. In this context, hollow microneedle arrays (HMNAs) are particularly interesting for completely integrating sample-to-answer solutions as they create a duct between the skin and the sampling device. However, the fabrication of sharp-tipped HMNAs with a high aspect ratio (AR) is challenging, especially since a length of ≥1500 μm is desired to reach the blood capillaries. In this paper, we first described a novel two-step fabrication protocol for HMNAs in stainless steel by percussion laser drilling and subsequent micro-milling. The HMNAs were then integrated into a self-powered microfluidic sampling patch, containing a capillary pump which was optimized to generate negative pressure differences up to 40.9 ± 1.8 kPa. The sampling patch was validated in vitro, showing the feasibility of sampling 40 μL of liquid. It is anticipated that our proof-of-concept is a starting point for more sophisticated all-in-one biofluid sampling and point-of-care testing systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Micromachines in Biology and Biomedicine 2023)
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