Special Issue "Nanoparticles on Microfluidic Platforms"

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "D:Materials and Processing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019) | Viewed by 45074

Special Issue Editors

Biomedical Institute for Global Health Research and Technology (BIGHEART), National University of Singapore (NUS), MD6, 14 Medical Drive, #14-01, Singapore 117599, Singapore
Interests: biophysics; microfluidics; micro & nanotechologies; lab-on a chip
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, Orsay, France
Interests: biophysics; self-assembly; microfluidics
University of California, Berkeley, QB3, 408C Stanley Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1762, USA
Interests: bionanoscience; nanoplasmonics; bioMEMS; biomedical devices; quantitative medicine

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nanoparticles start to be a key element in a wide range of applications, starting from bio-chemical sensing and gene therapy to photovoltaics or displays. All of these applications require a precise control of the physical and chemical properties of the nanostructures. Recent advances in microfluidics bring new methods for processing, characterization or manipulation of nanoparticles. In this direction, we wish to invite you to contribute to this Special Issue with research papers, short communications, and review articles that focus on the development of chemical synthesis, processing, characterization, or applications of nanoparticles using microfluidic methods. The scopes include all of the microfluidic-based strategies aimed at directing the self-assembly of the nanoparticles, microfluidics characterization methods (optical, magnetic, electrical, or chemical) involving nanoparticles, and methods for the on-chip purification of several populations of nanoparticles. Articles focusing on applications, such as biochemical sensing utilizing nanoparticles in microfluidic devices, microfluidic platforms that mimic in vivo conditions for preclinical screening of nanoparticle uses, or in vitro microfluidic diagnostic devices with nanoparticle–cell, nanoparticle–protein, and nanoparticle–chemical reactions/interactions are also welcome. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Microfluidics-driven self-assembly of nanoparticles
  • Handling of nanoparticles in microfluidic devices
  • Microfluidic methods for characterization of nanoparticles
  • Microfluidics for accelerating clinical translation of nanoparticles
  • Microfluidics-based applications with nanoparticles

Dr. Ciprian Iliescu
Dr. Guillaume Tresset
Prof. Dr. Luke P. Lee
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

  • Microfluidics
  • Nanoparticles
  • Self-assembly

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 4033 KiB  
Article
Using pH-Activable Carbon Nanoparticles as Cell Imaging Probes
Micromachines 2019, 10(9), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10090568 - 28 Aug 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2162
Abstract
Herein, we demonstrate the fabrication of innovative pH-activable carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) based on urea and citric acid by microwave-assisted green synthesis for application in cell imaging. These CNP-based nanoprobes offer significant advantages of pH responsiveness and excellent biocompatibility. The pH responsiveness ranges from [...] Read more.
Herein, we demonstrate the fabrication of innovative pH-activable carbon nanoparticles (CNPs) based on urea and citric acid by microwave-assisted green synthesis for application in cell imaging. These CNP-based nanoprobes offer significant advantages of pH responsiveness and excellent biocompatibility. The pH responsiveness ranges from 1.0 to 4.6 and the slightly pH responsiveness ranges from 4.6 to 9.0. In addition, the pH-dependent modification of charge as well as the final diameter of the designed CNPs not only provide support as stable sensors for cell imaging under pH values from 4.6 to 9.0, but can also observe the pH change in cells from 1.0 to 4.6. Importantly, this significantly enhances the cellular internalization process resulting in tumor cell death. Together, we believe that these superior photoluminescence properties of our designed nanomaterials potentially allow for biological labeling, bioimaging, and drug delivery applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles on Microfluidic Platforms)
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15 pages, 1817 KiB  
Article
Conducting Polymeric Nanocomposites with a Three-Dimensional Co-flow Microfluidics Platform
Micromachines 2019, 10(6), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10060383 - 07 Jun 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2940 | Correction
Abstract
The nanoprecipitation of polymers is of great interest in biological and medicinal applications. Many approaches are available, but few generalized methods can fabricate structurally different biocompatible polymers into nanosized particles with a narrow distribution in a high-throughput manner. We simply integrate a glass [...] Read more.
The nanoprecipitation of polymers is of great interest in biological and medicinal applications. Many approaches are available, but few generalized methods can fabricate structurally different biocompatible polymers into nanosized particles with a narrow distribution in a high-throughput manner. We simply integrate a glass slide, capillary, and metal needle into a simple microfluidics device. Herein, a detailed protocol is provided for using the glass capillary and slides to fabricate the microfluidics devices used in this work. To demonstrate the generality of our nanoprecipitation approach and platform, four (semi)natural polymers—acetalated dextran (Ac-DEX), spermine acetalated dextran (Sp-Ac-DEX), poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA), and chitosan—were tested and benchmarked by the polymeric particle size and polydispersity. More importantly, the principal objective was to explore the influence of some key parameters on nanoparticle size due to its importance for a variety of applications. The polymer concentration, the solvent/non-solvent volume rate/ratio, and opening of the inner capillary were varied so as to obtain polymeric nanoparticles (NPs). Dynamic light scattering (DLS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and optical microscopy are the main techniques used to evaluate the nanoprecipitation output. It turns out that the concentration of polymer most strongly determines the particle size and distribution, followed by the solvent/non-solvent volume rate/ratio, whereas the opening of the inner capillary shows a minor effect. The obtained NPs were smooth spheres with adjustable particle diameters and polymer-dependent surface potentials, both negative and positive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles on Microfluidic Platforms)
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13 pages, 8894 KiB  
Article
Magnetic Micromachine Using Nickel Nanoparticles for Propelling and Releasing in Indirect Assembly of Cell-Laden Micromodules
Micromachines 2019, 10(6), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10060370 - 01 Jun 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2851
Abstract
Magnetic micromachines as wireless end-effectors have been widely applied for drug discovery and regenerative medicine. Yet, the magnetic assembly of arbitrarily shaped cellular microstructures with high efficiency and flexibility still remains a big challenge. Here, a novel clamp-shape micromachine using magnetic nanoparticles was [...] Read more.
Magnetic micromachines as wireless end-effectors have been widely applied for drug discovery and regenerative medicine. Yet, the magnetic assembly of arbitrarily shaped cellular microstructures with high efficiency and flexibility still remains a big challenge. Here, a novel clamp-shape micromachine using magnetic nanoparticles was developed for the indirect untethered bioassembly. With a multi-layer template, the nickel nanoparticles were mixed with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) for mold replication of the micromachine with a high-resolution and permeability. To actuate the micromachine with a high flexibility and large scalable operation range, a multi-pole electromagnetic system was set up to generate a three-dimensional magnetic field in a large workspace. Through designing a series of flexible translations and rotations with a velocity of 15mm/s and 3 Hz, the micromachine realized the propel-and-throw strategy to overcome the inevitable adhesion during bioassembly. The hydrogel microstructures loaded with different types of cells or the bioactive materials were effectively assembled into microtissues with reconfigurable shape and composition. The results indicate that indirect magnetic manipulation can perform an efficient and versatile bioassembly of cellular micromodules, which is promising for drug trials and modular tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles on Microfluidic Platforms)
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14 pages, 7413 KiB  
Article
Elastic Turbulence of Aqueous Polymer Solution in Multi-Stream Micro-Channel Flow
Micromachines 2019, 10(2), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10020110 - 07 Feb 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2643
Abstract
Viscous liquid flow in micro-channels is typically laminar because of the low Reynolds number constraint. However, by introducing elasticity into the fluids, the flow behavior could change drastically to become turbulent; this elasticity can be realized by dissolving small quantities of polymer molecules [...] Read more.
Viscous liquid flow in micro-channels is typically laminar because of the low Reynolds number constraint. However, by introducing elasticity into the fluids, the flow behavior could change drastically to become turbulent; this elasticity can be realized by dissolving small quantities of polymer molecules into an aqueous solvent. Our recent investigation has directly visualized the extension and relaxation of these polymer molecules in an aqueous solution. This elastic-driven phenomenon is known as ‘elastic turbulence’. Hitherto, existing studies on elastic flow instability are mostly limited to single-stream flows, and a comprehensive statistical analysis of a multi-stream elastic turbulent micro-channel flow is needed to provide additional physical understanding. Here, we investigate the flow field characteristics of elastic turbulence in a 3-stream contraction-expansion micro-channel flow. By applying statistical analyses and flow visualization tools, we show that the flow field bares many similarities to that of inertia-driven turbulence. More interestingly, we observed regions with two different types of power-law dependence in the velocity power spectra at high frequencies. This is a typical characteristic of two-dimensional turbulence and has hitherto not been reported for elastic turbulent micro-channel flows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles on Microfluidic Platforms)
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7 pages, 1467 KiB  
Communication
Simple Fabrication of Structured Magnetic Metallic Nano-Platelets for Bio-Analytical Applications
Micromachines 2019, 10(2), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10020106 - 03 Feb 2019
Viewed by 2320
Abstract
This short communication presents a simple method of preparation of thin-metal nano-platelets utilizing metal sputtering and lift-off photolithography. The method offers complete control over size, shape and properties of nano-platelets of sub-micrometer thickness. Platelets with a thickness of 50–200 nm and with defined [...] Read more.
This short communication presents a simple method of preparation of thin-metal nano-platelets utilizing metal sputtering and lift-off photolithography. The method offers complete control over size, shape and properties of nano-platelets of sub-micrometer thickness. Platelets with a thickness of 50–200 nm and with defined arbitrary shapes and sizes in the range of 15–300 μm were prepared from single or multiple metal layers by magnetron sputtering. Deposition of different metals in layers enabled fabrication of bi- or tri-metallic platelets with a magnetic core and differently composed surfaces. Highly reflective nano-platelets with a magnetic core allowed manipulation by magnetic fields, while different metallic surfaces served for functionalization by selected molecules. Submicron thin nano-platelets are extremely light (e.g., ~20 ng for a 100 μm × 100 μm × 0.1 μm gold nano-platelet) so that they can be attached to surfaces by only a few chemical bonds. At the same time their area is sufficiently large for simple optical recognition of their shape which is intended to label various characteristics depending on the specific surface functionalization of the given shape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles on Microfluidic Platforms)
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Review

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16 pages, 3923 KiB  
Review
Advancement of Peptide Nanobiotechnology via Emerging Microfluidic Technology
Micromachines 2019, 10(10), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10100627 - 20 Sep 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2545
Abstract
Peptide nanotechnology has experienced a long and enduring development since its inception. Many different applications have been conceptualized, which depends on the functional groups present on the peptide and the physical shape/size of the peptide nanostructures. One of the most prominent nanostructures formed [...] Read more.
Peptide nanotechnology has experienced a long and enduring development since its inception. Many different applications have been conceptualized, which depends on the functional groups present on the peptide and the physical shape/size of the peptide nanostructures. One of the most prominent nanostructures formed by peptides are nanoparticles. Until recently, however, it has been challenging to engineer peptide nanoparticles with low dispersity. An emerging and promising technique involves the utility of microfluidics to produce a solution of peptide nanoparticles with narrow dispersity. In this process, two or more streams of liquid are focused together to create conditions that are conducive towards the formation of narrowly dispersed samples of peptide nanoparticles. This makes it possible to harness peptide nanoparticles for the myriad of applications that are dependent on nanoparticle size and uniformity. In this focus review, we aim to show how microfluidics may be utilized to (1) study peptide self-assembly, which is critical to controlling nanostructure shape and size, and peptide-interface interactions, and (2) generate self-assembling peptide-based microgels for miniaturized cell cultures. These examples will illustrate how the emerging microfluidic approach promises to revolutionize the production and application of peptide nanoparticles in ever more diverse fields than before. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles on Microfluidic Platforms)
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34 pages, 2610 KiB  
Review
Microfluidic and Micromachined/MEMS Devices for Separation, Discrimination and Detection of Airborne Particles for Pollution Monitoring
Micromachines 2019, 10(7), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10070483 - 18 Jul 2019
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 5693
Abstract
Most of the microfluidics-related literature describes devices handling liquids, with only a small part dealing with gas-based applications, and a much smaller number of papers are devoted to the separation and/or detection of airborne inorganic particles. This review is dedicated to this rather [...] Read more.
Most of the microfluidics-related literature describes devices handling liquids, with only a small part dealing with gas-based applications, and a much smaller number of papers are devoted to the separation and/or detection of airborne inorganic particles. This review is dedicated to this rather less known field which has become increasingly important in the last years due to the growing attention devoted to pollution monitoring and air quality assessment. After a brief introduction summarizing the main particulate matter (PM) classes and the need for their study, the paper reviews miniaturized devices and/or systems for separation, detection and quantitative assessment of PM concentration in air with portable and easy-to-use platforms. The PM separation methods are described first, followed by the key detection methods, namely optical (scattering) and electrical. The most important miniaturized reported realizations are analyzed, with special attention given to microfluidic and micromachined or micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) chip-based implementations due to their inherent capability of being integrated in lab-on-chip (LOC) type of smart microsystems with increased functionalities that can be portable and are easy to use. The operating principles and (when available) key performance parameters of such devices are presented and compared, also highlighting their advantages and disadvantages. Finally, the most relevant conclusions are discussed in the last section. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles on Microfluidic Platforms)
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22 pages, 9422 KiB  
Review
DEP-on-a-Chip: Dielectrophoresis Applied to Microfluidic Platforms
Micromachines 2019, 10(6), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10060423 - 24 Jun 2019
Cited by 94 | Viewed by 13150
Abstract
Dielectric particles in a non-uniform electric field are subject to a force caused by a phenomenon called dielectrophoresis (DEP). DEP is a commonly used technique in microfluidics for particle or cell separation. In comparison with other separation methods, DEP has the unique advantage [...] Read more.
Dielectric particles in a non-uniform electric field are subject to a force caused by a phenomenon called dielectrophoresis (DEP). DEP is a commonly used technique in microfluidics for particle or cell separation. In comparison with other separation methods, DEP has the unique advantage of being label-free, fast, and accurate. It has been widely applied in microfluidics for bio-molecular diagnostics and medical and polymer research. This review introduces the basic theory of DEP, its advantages compared with other separation methods, and its applications in recent years, in particular, focusing on the different electrode types integrated into microfluidic chips, fabrication techniques, and operation principles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles on Microfluidic Platforms)
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21 pages, 2712 KiB  
Review
Evaluating Nanoparticles in Preclinical Research Using Microfluidic Systems
Micromachines 2019, 10(6), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10060414 - 21 Jun 2019
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4202
Abstract
Nanoparticles (NPs) have found a wide range of applications in clinical therapeutic and diagnostic fields. However, currently most NPs are still in the preclinical evaluation phase with few approved for clinical use. Microfluidic systems can simulate dynamic fluid flows, chemical gradients, partitioning of [...] Read more.
Nanoparticles (NPs) have found a wide range of applications in clinical therapeutic and diagnostic fields. However, currently most NPs are still in the preclinical evaluation phase with few approved for clinical use. Microfluidic systems can simulate dynamic fluid flows, chemical gradients, partitioning of multi-organs as well as local microenvironment controls, offering an efficient and cost-effective opportunity to fast screen NPs in physiologically relevant conditions. Here, in this review, we are focusing on summarizing key microfluidic platforms promising to mimic in vivo situations and test the performance of fabricated nanoparticles. Firstly, we summarize the key evaluation parameters of NPs which can affect their delivery efficacy, followed by highlighting the importance of microfluidic-based NP evaluation. Next, we will summarize main microfluidic systems effective in evaluating NP haemocompatibility, transport, uptake and toxicity, targeted accumulation and general efficacy respectively, and discuss the future directions for NP evaluation in microfluidic systems. The combination of nanoparticles and microfluidic technologies could greatly facilitate the development of drug delivery strategies and provide novel treatments and diagnostic techniques for clinically challenging diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles on Microfluidic Platforms)
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29 pages, 3793 KiB  
Review
Microfluidic Technology for Clinical Applications of Exosomes
Micromachines 2019, 10(6), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10060392 - 12 Jun 2019
Cited by 61 | Viewed by 6135
Abstract
Exosomes, a type of nanovesicle, are distinct cellular entities specifically capable of carrying various cargos between cells. It has been hypothesized that exosomes, as an enriched source of biomolecules, may serve as biomarkers for various diseases. This review introduces general aspects of exosomes, [...] Read more.
Exosomes, a type of nanovesicle, are distinct cellular entities specifically capable of carrying various cargos between cells. It has been hypothesized that exosomes, as an enriched source of biomolecules, may serve as biomarkers for various diseases. This review introduces general aspects of exosomes, presents the challenges in exosome research, discusses the potential of exosomes as biomarkers, and describes the contribution of microfluidic technology to enable their isolation and analysis for diagnostic and disease monitoring. Additionally, clinical applications of exosomes for diagnostic purposes are also summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoparticles on Microfluidic Platforms)
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