Selected Papers from the 8th Symposium on Micro-Nano Science and Technology on Micromachines

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 April 2018) | Viewed by 68346

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Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Keio University, Kanagawa 223-8522, Japan
Interests: micro/nano engineering and science; human interface; interaction/cognitive science/media art; medical engineering; artificial organ; machine learning; artificial intelligence (AI); MEMS (microelectromechanical systems)
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Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical and Control Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, 1-1 Sensui-cho,Tobata-ku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka 804-8550, Japan
Interests: thermophysical properties; thermoelectrics

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Assistant Guest Editor
Institute of Industrial Science (IIS), The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan
Interests: biofabrication; biohybrid robotics; microfluidics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will publish selected papers from the 8th Symposium on Micro-Nano Science and Technology on Micromachines, 31 October–2 November, 2017, in Hiroshima, Japan.

We encourage contributions on significant and original works in order to deeply understand physical, chemical, and biological phenomena in micro/nano scale and to develop applied technologies. The conference will cover the following main topics:

1: Precision Machinery Lubrication Design
2: Material dynamics Strength
3: Hydrodynamics
4: Thermal engineering
5: Production processing Mechanical materials
6: Robotics Mechatronics
7: Medical Biotechnology
8: Micro Nano system

Papers attracting most interests in the conference, or that provide novel contributions, have been selected for publication in Micromachines. These papers will be peer-reviewed for validation of research results, developments and applications.

Prof. Dr. Norihisa Miki
Prof. Dr. Koji Miyazaki
Guest Editors

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.

Keywords

  • Micro/Nanofabrication

  • Micro/Nanofluidics

  • Micro/Nano thermal engineering

  • MEMS technology

  • Robotics

  • Lab-on-a-chip

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Published Papers (14 papers)

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Editorial

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2 pages, 141 KiB  
Editorial
Editorial for the Special Issue of Selected Papers from the 8th Symposium on Micro–Nano Science and Technology on Micromachines
by Norihisa Miki, Koji Miyazaki and Yuya Morimoto
Micromachines 2018, 9(12), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9120627 - 28 Nov 2018
Viewed by 2111
Abstract
The Micro–Nano Science and Technology Division of JSME (Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers) promotes academic activities to pioneer novel research topics on microscopic mechanics. [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

9 pages, 3651 KiB  
Article
Reduction of Parasitic Capacitance of A PDMS Capacitive Force Sensor
by Tatsuho Nagatomo and Norihisa Miki
Micromachines 2018, 9(11), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9110570 - 3 Nov 2018
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 5418
Abstract
Polymer-based flexible micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) tactile sensors have been widely studied for a variety of applications, such as medical and robot fields. The small size and flexibility are of great advantage in terms of accurate measurement and safety. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is [...] Read more.
Polymer-based flexible micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) tactile sensors have been widely studied for a variety of applications, such as medical and robot fields. The small size and flexibility are of great advantage in terms of accurate measurement and safety. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is often used as the flexible structural material. However, the sensors are likely subject to large parasitic capacitance noise. The smaller dielectric constant leads to smaller influences of parasitic capacitance and a larger signal-to-noise ratio. In this study, the sensor underwent ultraviolet (UV) exposure, which changes Si–CH3 bonds in PDMS to Si–O, makes PDMS nanoporous, and leads to a low dielectric constant. In addition, we achieved further reduction of the dielectric constant of PDMS by washing it with an ethanol–toluene buffer solution after UV exposure. This simple but effective method can be readily applicable to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of PDMS-based flexible capacitive sensors. In this study, we propose reduction techniques for the dielectric constant of PDMS and applications for flexible capacitive force sensors. Full article
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10 pages, 6710 KiB  
Article
Adenosine Triphosphate Measurement in Deep Sea Using a Microfluidic Device
by Tatsuhiro Fukuba, Takuroh Noguchi, Kei Okamura and Teruo Fujii
Micromachines 2018, 9(8), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9080370 - 27 Jul 2018
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4235
Abstract
Total ATP (adenosine triphosphate) concentration is a useful biochemical parameter for detecting microbial biomass or biogeochemical activity anomalies in the natural environment. In this study, we describe the development and evaluation of a new version of in situ ATP analyzer improved for the [...] Read more.
Total ATP (adenosine triphosphate) concentration is a useful biochemical parameter for detecting microbial biomass or biogeochemical activity anomalies in the natural environment. In this study, we describe the development and evaluation of a new version of in situ ATP analyzer improved for the continuous and quantitative determination of ATP in submarine environments. We integrated a transparent microfluidic device containing a microchannel for cell lysis and a channel for the bioluminescence L–L (luciferin–luciferase) assay with a miniature pumping unit and a photometry module for the measurement of the bioluminescence intensity. A heater and a temperature sensor were also included in the system to maintain an optimal temperature for the L–L reaction. In this study, the analyzer was evaluated in deep sea environments, reaching a depth of 200 m using a remotely operated underwater vehicle. We show that the ATP analyzer successfully operated in the deep-sea environment and accurately quantified total ATP within the concentration lower than 5 × 10−11 M. Full article
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18 pages, 9783 KiB  
Article
Possibility of Controlling Self-Organized Patterns with Totalistic Cellular Automata Consisting of Both Rules like Game of Life and Rules Producing Turing Patterns
by Takeshi Ishida
Micromachines 2018, 9(7), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9070339 - 3 Jul 2018
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 8581
Abstract
The basic rules of self-organization using a totalistic cellular automaton (CA) were investigated, for which the cell state was determined by summing the states of neighboring cells, like in Conway’s Game of Life. This study used a short-range and long-range summation of the [...] Read more.
The basic rules of self-organization using a totalistic cellular automaton (CA) were investigated, for which the cell state was determined by summing the states of neighboring cells, like in Conway’s Game of Life. This study used a short-range and long-range summation of the cell states around the focal cell. These resemble reaction-diffusion (RD) equations, in which self-organizing behavior emerges from interactions between an activating factor and an inhibiting factor. In addition, Game-of-Life-type rules, in which a cell cannot survive when adjoined by too many or too few living cells, were applied. Our model was able to mimic patterns characteristic of biological cells, including movement, growth, and reproduction. This result suggests the possibility of controlling self-organized patterns. Our model can also be applied to the control of engineering systems, such as multirobot swarms and self-assembling microrobots. Full article
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8 pages, 3281 KiB  
Article
Design of Substrate Stretchability Using Origami-Like Folding Deformation for Flexible Thermoelectric Generator
by Kana Fukuie, Yoshitaka Iwata and Eiji Iwase
Micromachines 2018, 9(7), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9070315 - 22 Jun 2018
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 4480
Abstract
A stretchable thermoelectric (TE) generator was developed by using rigid BiTe-based TE elements and a non-stretchable substrate with origami-like folding deformation. Our stretchable TE generator contains flat sections, on which the rigid TE elements are arranged, and folded sections, which produce and guarantee [...] Read more.
A stretchable thermoelectric (TE) generator was developed by using rigid BiTe-based TE elements and a non-stretchable substrate with origami-like folding deformation. Our stretchable TE generator contains flat sections, on which the rigid TE elements are arranged, and folded sections, which produce and guarantee the stretchability of a device. First, a simple stretchable device with a single pair of p-type and n-type BiTe-based TE elements was designed and fabricated. The TE elements were sandwiched between two folded polyimide-copper substrates. The length of the wiring between the flat sections changed from 1.0 mm in the folded state to 1.8 mm in the deployed state. It was also confirmed that the single-pair device could generate power in both the folded and deployed states. After this, a stretchable TE generator with eight pairs of p-type and n-type BiTe-based TE elements connected in series was created. The stretchable TE generator was capable of withstanding a stretching deformation of 20% and could also produce an output voltage in both the folded and deployed states. Full article
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11 pages, 4141 KiB  
Article
Fatigue Assessment by Blink Detected with Attachable Optical Sensors of Dye-Sensitized Photovoltaic Cells
by Ryogo Horiuchi, Tomohito Ogasawara and Norihisa Miki
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060310 - 20 Jun 2018
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3845
Abstract
This paper demonstrates fatigue assessment based on eye blinks that are detected by dye-sensitized photovoltaic cells. In particular, the sensors were attached to the temple of eyeglasses and positioned at the lateral side of the eye. They are wearable, did not majorly disturb [...] Read more.
This paper demonstrates fatigue assessment based on eye blinks that are detected by dye-sensitized photovoltaic cells. In particular, the sensors were attached to the temple of eyeglasses and positioned at the lateral side of the eye. They are wearable, did not majorly disturb the user’s eyesight, and detected the position of the eyelid or the eye state. The optimal location of the sensor was experimentally investigated by evaluating the detection accuracy of blinks. We conducted fatigue assessment experiments using the developed wearable system, or smart glasses. Several parameters, including the frequency, duration, and velocity of eye blinks, were extracted as fatigue indices. Successful fatigue assessment by the proposed system will be of great benefit for maximizing performance and maintenance of physical/mental health. Full article
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10 pages, 2947 KiB  
Article
Formation of Branched and Chained Alginate Microfibers Using Theta-Glass Capillaries
by Keigo Nishimura, Yuya Morimoto, Nobuhito Mori and Shoji Takeuchi
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060303 - 17 Jun 2018
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 6927
Abstract
This study proposes a microfluidic spinning method to form alginate microfibers with branched and chained structures by controlling two streams of a sodium alginate solution extruded from a theta-glass capillary (a double-compartmented glass capillary). The two streams have three flow regimes: (i) a [...] Read more.
This study proposes a microfluidic spinning method to form alginate microfibers with branched and chained structures by controlling two streams of a sodium alginate solution extruded from a theta-glass capillary (a double-compartmented glass capillary). The two streams have three flow regimes: (i) a combined flow regime (single-threaded stream), (ii) a separated flow regime (double-threaded stream), and (iii) a chained flow regime (stream of repeating single- and double-threaded streams). The flow rate of the sodium alginate solution and the tip diameter of the theta-glass capillary are the two parameters which decide the flow regime. By controlling the two parameters, we form branched (a Y-shaped structure composed of thick parent fiber and permanently divided two thin fibers) and chained (a repeating structure of single- and double-threaded fibers with constant frequency) alginate microfibers with various dimensions. Furthermore, we demonstrate the applicability of the alginate microfibers as sacrificial templates for the formation of chain-shaped microchannels with two inlets. Such microchannels could mimic the structure of blood vessels and are applicable for the research fields of fluidics including hemodynamics. Full article
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10 pages, 5363 KiB  
Article
Miniaturization and High-Density Arrangement of Microcantilevers in Proximity and Tactile Sensor for Dexterous Gripping Control
by Ryoma Araki, Takashi Abe, Haruo Noma and Masayuki Sohgawa
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060301 - 15 Jun 2018
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3447
Abstract
In this paper, in order to perform delicate and advanced grip control like human, a proximity and tactile combination sensor using miniaturized microcantilevers one-fifth the size of previous one as the detection part was newly developed. Microcantilevers were arranged with higher spatial density [...] Read more.
In this paper, in order to perform delicate and advanced grip control like human, a proximity and tactile combination sensor using miniaturized microcantilevers one-fifth the size of previous one as the detection part was newly developed. Microcantilevers were arranged with higher spatial density than in previous works and an interdigitated array electrode to enhance light sensitivity was added. It is found that the interdigitated array electrode can detect light with 1.6 times higher sensitivity than that in previous works and the newly fabricated microcantilevers have enough sensitivity to applied normal and shear loads. Therefore, more accurate detection of proximity distance and spatial distribution of contact force become available for dexterous gripping control to prevent ‘overshooting’, ‘force control error’, and ‘slipping’. Full article
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18 pages, 3934 KiB  
Article
Artificial Cochlear Sensory Epithelium with Functions of Outer Hair Cells Mimicked Using Feedback Electrical Stimuli
by Tetsuro Tsuji, Asuka Nakayama, Hiroki Yamazaki and Satoyuki Kawano
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060273 - 30 May 2018
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3593
Abstract
We report a novel vibration control technique of an artificial auditory cochlear epithelium that mimics the function of outer hair cells in the organ of Corti. The proposed piezoelectric and trapezoidal membrane not only has the acoustic/electric conversion and frequency selectivity of the [...] Read more.
We report a novel vibration control technique of an artificial auditory cochlear epithelium that mimics the function of outer hair cells in the organ of Corti. The proposed piezoelectric and trapezoidal membrane not only has the acoustic/electric conversion and frequency selectivity of the previous device developed mainly by one of the authors and colleagues, but also has a function to control local vibration according to sound stimuli. Vibration control is achieved by applying local electrical stimuli to patterned electrodes on an epithelium made using micro-electro-mechanical system technology. By choosing appropriate phase differences between sound and electrical stimuli, it is shown that it is possible to both amplify and dampen membrane vibration, realizing better control of the response of the artificial cochlea. To be more specific, amplification and damping are achieved when the phase difference between the membrane vibration by sound stimuli and electrical stimuli is zero and π , respectively. We also demonstrate that the developed control system responds automatically to a change in sound frequency. The proposed technique can be applied to mimic the nonlinear response of the outer hair cells in a cochlea, and to realize a high-quality human auditory system. Full article
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10 pages, 4143 KiB  
Article
Effect of Heat Accumulation on Femtosecond Laser Reductive Sintering of Mixed CuO/NiO Nanoparticles
by Mizue Mizoshiri, Kenta Nishitani and Seiichi Hata
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060264 - 28 May 2018
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3704
Abstract
Direct laser-writing techniques have attracted attention for their use in two- and three-dimensional printing technologies. In this article, we report on a micropatterning process that uses femtosecond laser reductive sintering of mixed CuO/NiO nanoparticles. The writing speed, laser fluence, and incident total energy [...] Read more.
Direct laser-writing techniques have attracted attention for their use in two- and three-dimensional printing technologies. In this article, we report on a micropatterning process that uses femtosecond laser reductive sintering of mixed CuO/NiO nanoparticles. The writing speed, laser fluence, and incident total energy were varied to investigate the influence of heat accumulation on the micropatterns formed by these materials. Heat accumulation and the thermal history of the laser irradiation process significantly affected the material composition and the thermoelectric properties of the fabricated micropatterns. Short laser irradiation durations and high laser fluences decrease the amount of metal oxide in the micropatterns. Selective fabrication of p-type and n-type thermoelectric micropatterns was demonstrated to be possible with control of the reduction and reoxidization reactions through the control of writing speed and total irradiation energy. Full article
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8 pages, 1357 KiB  
Article
3D Shape Reconstruction of 3D Printed Transparent Microscopic Objects from Multiple Photographic Images Using Ultraviolet Illumination
by Keishi Koyama, Masayuki Takakura, Taichi Furukawa and Shoji Maruo
Micromachines 2018, 9(6), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9060261 - 27 May 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 6275
Abstract
We propose and demonstrate a simple, low-cost, three-dimensional (3D) shape acquisition method for transparent 3D printed microscopic objects. Our method uses ultraviolet (UV) illumination to obtain high-contrast silhouette images of transparent 3D printed polymer objects. Multiple silhouette images taken from different viewpoints make [...] Read more.
We propose and demonstrate a simple, low-cost, three-dimensional (3D) shape acquisition method for transparent 3D printed microscopic objects. Our method uses ultraviolet (UV) illumination to obtain high-contrast silhouette images of transparent 3D printed polymer objects. Multiple silhouette images taken from different viewpoints make it possible to reconstruct the 3D shape of this transparent object. A 3D shape acquisition system consisting of a UV light-emitting diode, charge-coupled device camera and a rotation stage was constructed and used to successfully reconstruct the 3D shape of a transparent bunny model produced using micro-stereolithography. In addition, 3D printed pillar array models, with different diameters on the order of several hundred micrometers, were reconstructed. This method will be a promising tool for the 3D shape reconstruction of transparent 3D objects on both the micro- and macro-scale by changing the imaging lens. Full article
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8 pages, 9700 KiB  
Article
A Visualization Technique of a Unique pH Distribution around an Ion Depletion Zone in a Microchannel by Using a Dual-Excitation Ratiometric Method
by Katsuo Mogi
Micromachines 2018, 9(4), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9040167 - 2 Apr 2018
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4228
Abstract
The ion depletion zone of ion concentration polarization has a strong potential to act as an immaterial barrier, separating delicate submicron substances, including biomolecules, without causing physical damage. However, the detailed mechanisms of the barrier effect remain incompletely understood because it is difficult [...] Read more.
The ion depletion zone of ion concentration polarization has a strong potential to act as an immaterial barrier, separating delicate submicron substances, including biomolecules, without causing physical damage. However, the detailed mechanisms of the barrier effect remain incompletely understood because it is difficult to visualize the linked behavior of protons, cations, anions, and charged molecules in the thin ion depletion zone. In this study, pH distribution in an ion depletion zone was measured to estimate the role of proton behavior. This was done in order to use it as a tool with good controllability for biomolecule handling in the future. As a result, a unique pH peak was observed at several micrometers distance from the microchannel wall. The position of the peak appeared to be in agreement with the boundary of the ion depletion zone. From this agreement, it is expected that the pH peak has a causal connection to the barrier effect of the ion depletion zone. Full article
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12 pages, 17887 KiB  
Article
Crack-Configuration Analysis of Metal Conductive Track Embedded in Stretchable Elastomer
by Tomoya Koshi and Eiji Iwase
Micromachines 2018, 9(3), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9030130 - 15 Mar 2018
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 6565
Abstract
This paper reports the analysis of the crack configuration of a stretched metal conductive track that is embedded in a stretchable elastomer. The factor determining the crack configurations is analyzed by modeling as well as experiments. The modeling analysis indicates that the crack [...] Read more.
This paper reports the analysis of the crack configuration of a stretched metal conductive track that is embedded in a stretchable elastomer. The factor determining the crack configurations is analyzed by modeling as well as experiments. The modeling analysis indicates that the crack configuration is determined by the ratio of the elongation stiffness of the track and elastomer, and is classified into two types: multiple-crack growth and single-crack growth. When the track stiffness is considerably lower than the elastomer stiffness, multiple-crack growth type occurs; in the opposite case, single-crack growth type occurs. Hence, to verify the modeling analysis, metal conductive tracks with different thicknesses are fabricated, and the cracks are studied with respect to the crack width, number of cracks, and crack propagation speed. In this study, two conventional metal-track shapes are studied: straight-shaped tracks with track thickness of 0.04–1.17 µm, and wave-shaped tracks with track thickness of 2–10 µm. For straight-shaped tracks, multiple-crack growth type occurred, when the track thickness was 0.04 µm, and the crack configuration gradually changed to a single crack, with the increase in the track thickness. For wave-shaped tracks with track thickness of 2–10 µm, only single-crack growth type occurred; however, the crack propagation speed decreased and the maximum stretchability of the track increased, with the increase in the track thickness. Full article
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10 pages, 8667 KiB  
Article
Development of a Triple-Coaxial Flow Device for Fabricating a Hydrogel Microtube and Its Application to Bioremediation
by Kazuma Fujimoto, Kazuhiko Higashi, Hiroaki Onoe and Norihisa Miki
Micromachines 2018, 9(2), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9020076 - 12 Feb 2018
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4092
Abstract
This paper demonstrates a triple-coaxial flow device to continuously produce a hydrogel microtube using a microfluidic technique. The hydrogel microtube can encapsulate a microbial suspension, while allowing the diffusion of oxygen and nutrients into the microtube and preventing microbes from passing into or [...] Read more.
This paper demonstrates a triple-coaxial flow device to continuously produce a hydrogel microtube using a microfluidic technique. The hydrogel microtube can encapsulate a microbial suspension, while allowing the diffusion of oxygen and nutrients into the microtube and preventing microbes from passing into or out of the microtube. The microtubes also enable the collection of the microbes after task completion without contaminating the environment. In our previous study, we used a double-coaxial flow device to produce the microtubes, but continuous production was a challenge. In the present study, we developed a microfluidic device that fabricates a triple-coaxial flow to enable continuous production of the microtubes. Here, we characterize the production capacity of the microtubes along with their properties and demonstrate bioremediation using microtubes encapsulating a microbial suspension. Full article
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