Bench-Top Fabrication of an All-PDMS Microfluidic Electrochemical Cell Sensor Integrating Micro/Nanostructured Electrodes
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In recent years, efforts in the development of lab-on-a-chip (LoC) devices for point-of-care (PoC) applications have increased to bring affordable, portable, and sensitive diagnostics to the patients' bedside. To reach this goal, research has shifted from using traditional microfabrication methods to more versatile, rapid, and low-cost options. This work focuses on the benchtop fabrication of a highly sensitive, fully transparent, and flexible poly (dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) microfluidic (μF) electrochemical cell sensor. The μF device encapsulates 3D structured gold and platinum electrodes, fabricated using a shape-memory polymer shrinking method, which are used to set up an on-chip electrochemical cell. The PDMS to PDMS-structured electrode bonding protocol to fabricate the μF chip was optimized and found to have sufficient bond strength to withstand up to 100 mL/min flow rates. The sensing capabilities of the on-chip electrochemical cell were demonstrated by using cyclic voltammetry to monitor the adhesion of murine 3T3 fibroblasts in the presence of a redox reporter. The charge transfer across the working electrode was reduced upon cell adhesion, which was used as the detection mechanism, and allowed the detection of as few as 24 cells. The effective utilization of simple and low cost bench-top fabrication methods could accelerate the prototyping and development of LoC technologies and bring PoC diagnostics and personalized medicine to the patients' bedside.
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