Recent Advances of Microfluidics for Biomedical Applications

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 May 2024) | Viewed by 7009

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. School of Engineering and Sciences, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Ave. Eugenio Garza Sada 2501, Monterrey 64849, NL, Mexico
2. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111, Iran
Interests: miniaturization science (MEMS and NEMS) with emphasis on chemical and biological applications; microfabrication; bioMEMS; nanotechnology; CD-based fluidics

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Guest Editor
Depmartment of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Department, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Integrated Nanofabrication Facility (INRF), University of California, Irvine, 4200 Engineering Gateway, Irvine, CA 92697-3975, USA
Interests: microfabrication; microfluidics; biosensors
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
School of Engineering and Sciences, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Ave. Eugenio Garza Sada 2501, Monterrey 64849, NL, Mexico
Interests: electrokinetically-driven microfluidics; centrifugal microfluidics; carbon-based sensors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Microfluidics has been the topic of many studies ever since the early 1990s. After considerable advances, microfluidic lab-on-a-chip (LOC) and micro total analysis system (μTAS) devices represented a global market value of $15 billion in 2020, which is predicted to reach $25 billion in 2025, corresponding to annual growth of about 13%. Low reagent consumption, high surface volume ratio, rapid prototyping, portability, and cost-effective high-throughput biochemical assays are some of the advantages provided by microfluidics. This Special Issue focuses on microfluidic devices for biomedical applications. Accordingly, we seek to showcase original research papers, communications, and review articles with different applications of microfluidics in diagnostics, biosensors and biodevices, bioseparation, bioreactors, biomaterials and tissue engineering, industrial biotechnology, cell culture, and gene engineering. As a case in point, quantitative comparisons between the efficiency of microfluidic devices and conventional macroscale methods represent an attractive area of research that we would like to cover in this Special Issue.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

Dr. Masoud Madadelahi
Prof. Dr. Marc Madou
Prof. Dr. Sergio Omar Martínez-Chapa
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 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

  • microfluidics
  • biomedicine
  • biochemistry
  • biotechnology
  • microfabrication
  • point of care
  • lab-on-a-chip
  • μTAS
  • diagnostics
  • microarrays
  • genomics

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 5496 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Fluid Behaviors in a Pushbutton-Activated Microfluidic Device for User-Independent Flow Control
by Dong Hyun Han, Gihyun Lee, Untaek Oh, Yejin Choi and Je-Kyun Park
Micromachines 2024, 15(4), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi15040465 - 29 Mar 2024
Viewed by 655
Abstract
Although numerous studies have been conducted to realize ideal point-of-care testing (POCT), the development of a user-friendly and user-independent power-free microfluidic platform is still a challenge. Among various methods, the finger-actuation method shows a promising technique that provides a user-friendly and equipment-free way [...] Read more.
Although numerous studies have been conducted to realize ideal point-of-care testing (POCT), the development of a user-friendly and user-independent power-free microfluidic platform is still a challenge. Among various methods, the finger-actuation method shows a promising technique that provides a user-friendly and equipment-free way of delivering fluid in a designated manner. However, the design criteria and elaborate evaluation of the fluid behavior of a pushbutton-activated microfluidic device (PAMD) remain a critical bottleneck to be widely adopted in various applications. In this study, we have evaluated the fluid behavior of the PAMD based on various parameters, such as pressing velocity and depth assisted by a press machine. We have further developed a user-friendly and portable pressing block that reduces user variation in fluid behavior based on the evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Microfluidics for Biomedical Applications)
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13 pages, 14379 KiB  
Article
Constant Pressure-Regulated Microdroplet Polymerase Chain Reaction in Microfluid Chips: A Methodological Study
by Luyang Duanmu, Youji Shen, Ping Gong, Hao Zhang, Xiangkai Meng and Yuanhua Yu
Micromachines 2024, 15(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi15010008 - 20 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 800
Abstract
Digital polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology in microfluidic systems often results in bubble formation post-amplification, leading to microdroplet fragmentation and compromised detection accuracy. To solve this issue, this study introduces a method based on the constant pressure regulation of microdroplets during PCR within [...] Read more.
Digital polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology in microfluidic systems often results in bubble formation post-amplification, leading to microdroplet fragmentation and compromised detection accuracy. To solve this issue, this study introduces a method based on the constant pressure regulation of microdroplets during PCR within microfluidic chips. An ideal pressure reference value for continuous pressure control was produced by examining air solubility in water at various pressures and temperatures as well as modeling air saturation solubility against pressure for various temperature scenarios. Employing a high-efficiency constant pressure device facilitates precise modulation of the microfluidic chip’s inlet and outlet pressure. This ensures that air solubility remains unsaturated during PCR amplification, preventing bubble precipitation and maintaining microdroplet integrity. The device and chip were subsequently utilized for quantitative analysis of the human epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 18 gene, with results indicating a strong linear relationship between detection signal and DNA concentration within a range of 101–105 copies/μL (R2 = 0.999). By thwarting bubble generation during PCR process, the constant pressure methodology enhances microdroplet stability and PCR efficiency, underscoring its significant potential for nucleic acid quantification and trace detection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Microfluidics for Biomedical Applications)
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13 pages, 1403 KiB  
Article
Microfluidic Microcirculation Mimetic for Exploring Biophysical Mechanisms of Chemotherapy-Induced Metastasis
by Ashley Abraham, Sukhman Virdi, Nick Herrero, Israel Bryant, Chisom Nwakama, Megha Jacob, Gargee Khaparde, Destiny Jordan, Mackenzie McCuddin, Spencer McKinley, Adam Taylor, Conner Peeples and Andrew Ekpenyong
Micromachines 2023, 14(9), 1653; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14091653 - 22 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1324
Abstract
There is rapidly emerging evidence from pre-clinical studies, patient samples and patient subpopulations that certain chemotherapeutics inadvertently produce prometastatic effects. Prior to this, we showed that doxorubicin and daunorubicin stiffen cells before causing cell death, predisposing the cells to clogging and extravasation, the [...] Read more.
There is rapidly emerging evidence from pre-clinical studies, patient samples and patient subpopulations that certain chemotherapeutics inadvertently produce prometastatic effects. Prior to this, we showed that doxorubicin and daunorubicin stiffen cells before causing cell death, predisposing the cells to clogging and extravasation, the latter being a step in metastasis. Here, we investigate which other anti-cancer drugs might have similar prometastatic effects by altering the biophysical properties of cells. We treated myelogenous (K562) leukemic cancer cells with the drugs nocodazole and hydroxyurea and then measured their mechanical properties using a microfluidic microcirculation mimetic (MMM) device, which mimics aspects of blood circulation and enables the measurement of cell mechanical properties via transit times through the device. We also quantified the morphological properties of cells to explore biophysical mechanisms underlying the MMM results. Results from MMM measurements show that nocodazole- and hydroxyurea-treated K562 cells exhibit significantly altered transit times. Nocodazole caused a significant (p < 0.01) increase in transit times, implying a stiffening of cells. This work shows the feasibility of using an MMM to explore possible biophysical mechanisms that might contribute to chemotherapy-induced metastasis. Our work also suggests cell mechanics as a therapeutic target for much needed antimetastatic strategies in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Microfluidics for Biomedical Applications)
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19 pages, 5908 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Performance of the Multi-Lobed Leaf-Shaped Oscillatory Obstacles in Micromixers Using Bulk Acoustic Waves (BAW): Mixing and Chemical Reaction
by Vahid Kordzadeh-Kermani, Hossein Dartoomi, Mina Azizi, Seyed Nezameddin Ashrafizadeh and Masoud Madadelahi
Micromachines 2023, 14(4), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14040795 - 31 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1384
Abstract
Proper mixing in microfluidic devices has been a concern since the early development stages. Acoustic micromixers (active micromixers) attract significant attention due to their high efficiency and ease of implementation. Finding the optimal geometries, structures, and characteristics of acoustic micromixers is still a [...] Read more.
Proper mixing in microfluidic devices has been a concern since the early development stages. Acoustic micromixers (active micromixers) attract significant attention due to their high efficiency and ease of implementation. Finding the optimal geometries, structures, and characteristics of acoustic micromixers is still a challenging issue. In this study, we considered leaf-shaped obstacle(s) having a multi-lobed structure as the oscillatory part(s) of acoustic micromixers in a Y-junction microchannel. Four different types of leaf-shaped oscillatory obstacles, including 1, 2, 3, and 4-lobed structures, were defined, and their mixing performance for two fluid streams was evaluated numerically. The geometrical parameters of the leaf-shaped obstacle(s), including the number of lobes, lobes’ length, lobes’ inside angle, and lobes’ pitch angle, were analyzed, and their optimum operational values were discovered. Additionally, the effects of the placement of oscillatory obstacles in three configurations, i.e., at the junction center, on the side walls, and both, on the mixing performance were evaluated. It was found that by increasing the number and length of lobes, the mixing efficiency improved. Furthermore, the effect of the operational parameters, such as inlet velocity, frequency, and intensity of acoustic waves, was examined on mixing efficiency. Meanwhile, the occurrence of a bimolecular reaction in the microchannel was analyzed at different reaction rates. It was proven that the reaction rate has a prominent effect at higher inlet velocities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Microfluidics for Biomedical Applications)
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Review

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16 pages, 12876 KiB  
Review
Rational PCR Reactor Design in Microfluidics
by Masoud Madadelahi and Marc J. Madou
Micromachines 2023, 14(8), 1533; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14081533 - 31 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1724
Abstract
Limit of detection (LOD), speed, and cost for some of the most important diagnostic tools, i.e., lateral flow assays (LFA), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), all benefited from both the financial and regulatory support brought about by the pandemic. [...] Read more.
Limit of detection (LOD), speed, and cost for some of the most important diagnostic tools, i.e., lateral flow assays (LFA), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), all benefited from both the financial and regulatory support brought about by the pandemic. From those three, PCR has gained the most in overall performance. However, implementing PCR in point of care (POC) settings remains challenging because of its stringent requirements for a low LOD, multiplexing, accuracy, selectivity, robustness, and cost. Moreover, from a clinical point of view, it has become very desirable to attain an overall sample-to-answer time (t) of 10 min or less. Based on those POC requirements, we introduce three parameters to guide the design towards the next generation of PCR reactors: the overall sample-to-answer time (t); lambda (λ), a measure that sets the minimum number of copies required per reactor volume; and gamma (γ), the system’s thermal efficiency. These three parameters control the necessary sample volume, the number of reactors that are feasible (for multiplexing), the type of fluidics, the PCR reactor shape, the thermal conductivity, the diffusivity of the materials used, and the type of heating and cooling systems employed. Then, as an illustration, we carry out a numerical simulation of temperature changes in a PCR device, discuss the leading commercial and RT-qPCR contenders under development, and suggest approaches to achieve the PCR reactor for RT-qPCR of the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Microfluidics for Biomedical Applications)
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