EDITORIAL | doi:10.20944/preprints201609.0099.v1
Online: 27 September 2016 (10:21:10 CEST)
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0139.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: Microgravity simulation; Lab-On-a-Chip (LOC); Space application; Clinostats; Rotating wall vessel (RWV); Random position machine (RPM); Diamagnetic levitation; CubeSat; Acoustic levitation; Levitation
Online: 8 December 2022 (01:59:14 CET)
Gravity played an important role in the development of life on earth. The effect of gravity on a living organisms can be investigated by controlling the magnitude of gravity. Most reduced gravity experiments are conducted on the lower earth orbit (LEO) in the International Space Station (ISS). However, running experiments in ISS face challenges such as high cost, extreme condition, lack of direct accessibility, and long waiting period. Therefore, researchers have developed various ground-based devices and methods to perform reduced gravity experiments. However, the search for life outside the earth requires more intensive research. Advancements in conventional methods and the development of new tools are required for this purpose. The advantages of Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) devices make them an attractive option for simulating microgravity. This paper briefly reviews the advancement of LOC technologies for simulating microgravity in a earth-based laboratory.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0046.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Paperfluidics; Parafilm; Paper-based Analytical Devices
Online: 3 December 2021 (09:58:36 CET)
Paper-based analytical devices have been substantially developed in recent decades. Many fabrication techniques for paper-based analytical devices have been demonstrated and reported. Herein we report a relatively rapid, simple, and inexpensive method for fabricating paper-based analytical devices using parafilm hot pressing. We studied and optimized the effect of the key fabrication parameters, namely pressure, temperature, and pressing time. We discerned the optimal conditions, including pressure of 3.8 MPa (3 tons), temperature of 80oC, and 3 minutes of pressing time, with the smallest hydrophobic barrier size (821 µm) being governed by laminate mask and parafilm dispersal from pressure and heat. Physical and biochemical properties were evaluated to substantiate the paper functionality for analytical devices. Wicking speed in the fabricated paper strips was slightly slower than that of non-processed paper, resulting from reducing paper pore size. A colorimetric immunological assay was performed to demonstrate the protein binding capacity of the paper-based device after exposure to pressure and heat from the fabrication. Moreover, mixing in two-dimensional paper-based device and flowing in a three-dimensional counterpart were thoroughly investigated, demonstrating that the paper device from this fabrication process is potentially applicable as analytical devices for biomolecule detection. Fast, easy, and inexpensive parafilm hot press fabrication presents an opportunity for researchers to develop paper-based analytical devices in resource-limited environments.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201707.0031.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical And Electronic Engineering Keywords: thermal flow; harsh environment; operational modes; transduction; materials; properties and packaging
Online: 14 July 2017 (10:01:39 CEST)
Flow sensing in hostile environment is of increasing interest for applications in automotive, aerospace, and chemical and resource industries. Compared to their counterparts, thermal flow sensors are attractive candidates due to the ease of fabrication, lack of moving parts and higher sensitivity. Recently, a number of thermal flow sensor prototypes have been reported in the literature demonstrating the measurement of fluid flows under hostile conditions. This paper summarizes the concept of thermal flow sensing, operational modes and transduction mechanisms. Then, the choice of materials and their corresponding properties are presented in details. The paper also reports recent progress in the development of thermal flow sensors for harsh environment. In addition, the issues and considerations in packaging are reviewed. Finally, we conclude the review with the future prospects.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0071.v1
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: magnetic; microfluidics; mixing; magnetoconvection; ferrofluid
Online: 18 October 2016 (08:00:38 CEST)
Effective and rapid mixing is essential for various chemical and biological assays. The present work reports a simple and low-cost micromixer based on magnetofluidic actuation. The device takes advantage of magnetoconvective secondary flow, a bulk flow induced by an external magnetic field, for mixing. A paramagnetic stream of diluted ferrofluid and a non-magnetic stream are introduced to a straight microchannel. A permanent magnet placed next to the microchannel induced a non-uniform magnetic field. The magnetic field gradient and the mismatch in magnetic susceptibility between the two streams create a body force, which leads to rapid and efficient mixing. The micromixer reported here could achieve a high throughput and a high mixing efficiency of 90 % in a relatively short microchannel.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0720.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: microneedle; microneedle array, interstitial fluid; bio sensing, wearable system; ISF sampling
Online: 30 March 2021 (09:55:02 CEST)
Dermal interstitial fluid (ISF) is a novel source of biomarkers that can be considered as an alternative to blood sampling for disease diagnosis and treatment. Nevertheless, in vivo extraction and analysis of ISF are challenging. On the other hand, microneedle (MN) technology can address most of the challenges associated with dermal ISF extraction and is well-suited for long-term, continuous ISF monitoring as well as in situ detection. In this review, we first briefly summarise the different dermal ISF collection methods and compare them with MN methods. Next, we elaborate on the design considerations and biocompatibility of MNs. Subsequently, the fabrication technologies of various MNs used for dermal ISF extraction, including solid MNs, hollow MNs, porous MNs and hydrogel MNs, are thoroughly explained. In addition, different sensing mechanisms of ISF detection will be discussed in detail. Subsequently, we identify the challenges and propose the possible solutions associated with ISF extraction. A detailed investigation is provided for the transport and sampling mechanism of ISF in vivo. Also, the current in vitro skin model integrated with the MN arrays will be discussed. Finally, future directions to develop a point-of-care (POC) device to sample ISF are proposed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0640.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: SARS-COV-2; Loop-mediated isothermal amplification; Portable device.
Online: 28 July 2021 (17:49:56 CEST)
This paper reports the design, development, and testing of a novel, yet simple and low-cost portable device for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2. The device performs loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and provides visually distinguishable images of the fluorescence emitted from the samples. The device utilises an aluminium block embedded with a cartridge heater for isothermal heating of the sample and a single-board computer and camera for fluorescence detection. The device demonstrates promising results within 20 minutes using clinically relevant starting concentrations of the synthetic template. Time-to-signal data for this device are considerably lower compared to standard qPCR machine (~10-20 minutes vs >38 minutes) for 1×105 starting template copy number. The device in its fully optimized and characterized state can potentially be used as simple to operate, rapid, sensitive, and inexpensive platform for population screening as well as point-of-need SARS-CoV-2 detection and patient management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0263.v1
Online: 5 July 2023 (04:45:26 CEST)
Cellular response to mechanical stimuli is a crucial factor for maintaining cell homeostasis. The interaction between extracellular matrix and mechanical stress plays a significant role in organ-izing the cytoskeleton and aligning cells. Tools that apply mechanical forces to cells and tissues, as well as those capable of measuring the mechanical properties of biological cells, have greatly contributed to our understanding of fundamental mechanobiology. These tools have been exten-sively employed to unveil the substantial influence of mechanical cues on the development and progression of various diseases. In this report, we present an economical and high-performance uniaxial cell stretching device. This paper reports the detailed operation concept of the device, ex-perimental design, and characterization. The device was tested with MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Experimental results agree well with previously documented morphological changes re-sulting from stretching forces on cancer cells. Remarkably, our new device demonstrates compa-rable cellular changes within a 30-minute compared to the previous 2-hour stretching duration. Moreover, the device design incorporates an open-source software interface, facilitating conven-ient parameter adjustments such as strain, stretching speed, frequency, and duration. Its versatil-ity enables seamless integration with various optical microscopes, thereby yielding novel insights into the realm of mechanobiology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0282.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Surfaces, Coatings And Films Keywords: liquid marble; gelatin; spreading coefficient; surface tension
Online: 19 October 2022 (10:14:43 CEST)
The unique properties and morphology of liquid marbles (LMs) make them potentially useful for various applications. Non-edible hydrophobic organic polymer particles are widely used to prepare LMs. It is necessary to increase the variety of LM particles to extend their use into food and pharmaceuticals. Herein, we focus on hydrophobically modified gelatin (HMG) as a base material for the particles. The surface tension of HMG decreased as the length of alkyl chains incorporated into the gelatin and the degree of substitution (DS) of the alkyl chains increased. HMG with a surface tension of less than 37.5 mN/m (determined using equations based on the Young-Dupré equation and Kaelble-Uy theory) successfully formed LMs of water. The minimum surface tension of a liquid in which it was possible to form LMs using HMG particles was approximately 53 mN/m. We also showed that the liquid-over-solid spreading coefficient S_(L/S) is a potential new factor for predicting if particles can form LMs. The HMG particles and the new system for predicting LM formation could expand the use of LMs in food and pharmaceuticals.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0181.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 detection; Immunofluorescence; Paper-based diagnostic device
Online: 7 July 2021 (13:18:33 CEST)
We report on an immunofluorescent paper-based assay for the detection of severe acute respiratory symptom coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) humanized antibody. The paper-based device was fabricated by using lamination technique for easy and optimized handling. Our approach utilises a two-step strategy that involves (i) initial coating of the paper-electrode with recombinant SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen to capture the target SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies, and (ii) subsequent detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using fluorophore-conjugated IgG antibody. The fluorescence readout was observed with fluorescence microscopy. The images were processed and quantified using a MATLAB program. The assay can selectively detect SARS-CoV-2 humanized antibodies spiked in PBS and healthy human serum samples with the relative standard deviation of approximately 6.4% (for n = 3). It has broad dynamic ranges (1 ng to 50 ng/µL in PBS and 5 to 100 ng/µL in human serum samples) for SARS-CoV-2 humanized antibodies with the detection limits of 2 ng/µL (0.025 IU/mL) and 10 ng/µL (0.125 IU/mL) in PBS and human serum samples, respectively. We believe that our assay has the potential to be used as a simple, rapid, and inexpensive paper-based diagnostic device with a portable fluorescent reader to provide point-of-care diagnosis. This assay can be used for rapid examination of a large batch of samples toward clinical screening of SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies as a confirmed infected active case or to evaluate the immune response to a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0463.v1
Online: 26 December 2022 (02:51:41 CET)
Core-shell particles are heterogenous micro- or nanoparticles with solid, liquid or gas core encapsulated by a protective solid shell. The unique composition of core and shell materials imparts smart properties to the particles. Core-shell particles are gaining increasing attention as tuneable and versatile carriers for pharmaceutical and biomedical applications including targeted drug delivery, controlled drug release, and biosensing. This review first provides an overview of fabrication methods for core-shell particles, followed by a brief discussion on their application and a detailed analysis on manipulation including assembly, sorting, and triggered release. We compile current methodologies employed for manipulation of core-shell particles and demonstrate how existing methods of assembly and sorting micro/nanospheres can be adopted or modified for core-shell particles. Various triggered release approaches for diagnostics and drug delivery are also discussed in detail.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0261.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial And Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: Dielectrophoresis; Microfluidics; Cell separation; Particle sorting; Clausius-Mossotti factor; Crossover frequency
Online: 20 June 2022 (09:19:42 CEST)
Separation and detection of cells and particles in a suspension are essential for various applications, including biomedical investigations and clinical diagnostics. Microfluidics realizes the miniaturization of analytical devices by controlling the motion of a small volume of fluids in microchannels and microchambers. Accordingly, microfluidic devices have been widely used in particle/ cell manipulation processes. Different microfluidic methods for particle separation include dielectrophoretic, magnetic, optical, acoustic, hydrodynamic, and chemical techniques. Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is a method for manipulating polarizable particles’ trajectories in non-uniform electric fields using unique dielectric characteristics. It provides several advantages for dealing with neutral bioparticles owing to its sensitivity, selectivity, and noninvasive nature. This review provides a detailed study on the signal-based DEP methods that use the applied signal parameters, including frequency, amplitude, phase, and shape for cell/particle separation and manipulation. Rather than employing complex channels or time-consuming fabrication procedures, these methods realize sorting and detecting the cells/particles by modifying the signal parameters while using a simple device. In addition, these methods can significantly impact clinical diagnostics by making low-cost and rapid separation possible.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0195.v1
Subject: Chemistry And Materials Science, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Loop-mediated isothermal amplification; AXL over expression; core-shell beads assay
Online: 8 July 2021 (10:57:31 CEST)
The upregulated expression of thyrosine kinase AXL has been reported in several hematologic and solid human tumors including gastric, breast, colorectal, prostate, and ovarian cancers. Thus, AXL can potentially serve as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for various cancers. This paper reports the first-ever use of loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) of the AXL gene as a diagnostic method for ovarian cancer. We demonstrated simple instrumentation toward a point-of-care device to perform LAMP. This paper also reports the first-ever use of core-shell beads as a microreactor to perform LAMP as an attempt to promote environmentally friendly laboratory practices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201707.0065.v1
Subject: Engineering, Bioengineering Keywords: Biomedical Engineering, Cell Stretching, Mechanobiology.
Online: 24 July 2017 (10:04:57 CEST)
Cellular response to mechanical stimuli is an integral part of cell homeostasis. The interaction of the extracellular matrix with the mechanical stress plays an important role in cytoskeleton organisation and cell alignment. Insights from the response can be utilised to develop cell culture methods that achieve predefined cell patterns, which are critical for tissue remodelling and cell therapy. We report the working principle, design, simulation and characterisation of a novel electromagnetic cell stretching platform based on the double-sided axial stretching approach. The device is capable of introducing a cyclic and static strain pattern on a cell culture. The platform was tested with fibroblasts. The experimental results are consistent with the previously reported cytoskeleton reorganisation and cell reorientation induced by strain. The orientation of the cells is highly influenced by external mechanical cues. Cells reorganise their cytoskeleton to avoid external strain and to maintain intact extracellular matrix arrangements.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0213.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Fluids And Plasmas Physics Keywords: double emulsion; core-shell droplet; microfluidics; tri-axial capillary; computational fluid dynamics; dripping regime.
Online: 14 October 2022 (13:19:39 CEST)
We investigated experimentally, analytically and numerically the formation process of double emulsion formations under dripping regime in a tri-axial co-flow capillary device. The results show that mismatches of core and shell droplets under a given flow condition can be captured both experimentally and numerically. We propose a semi-analytical model using the match ratio between the pinch-off length of the shell droplet and the product of the core growth rate and its pinch-off time. The mismatch issue can be avoided if the match ratio is lower than unity. We considered a model with the wall effect to predict the size of the matched double emulsion. The model shows slight deviations with experimental data if the Reynolds number of continuous phase is lower than 0.06, but asymptotically approaches to good agreement if the Reynolds number increases from 0.06 to 0.14. The numerical simulation generally agrees with the experiments under various flow conditions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0086.v2
Subject: Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Keywords: surface acoustic wave; acoustofluidics; microfluidics; interdigitated transducers
Online: 22 November 2016 (09:41:32 CET)
Surface acoustic wave (SAW) is effective for the manipulation of fluids and particles in microscale. The current approach of integrating interdigitated transducers (IDTs) for SAW generation into microfluidic channels involves complex and laborious microfabrication steps. These steps often require the full access to clean room facilities and hours to align the transducers to the precise location. This work presents an affordable and innovative method for fabricating SAW-based microfluidic devices without the need of clean room facilities and alignment. The IDTs and microfluidic channels are fabricated in the same process and thus precisely self-aligned in accordance with the device design. With the use of the developed fabrication approach, a few types of different SAW-based microfluidic devices have been fabricated and demonstrated for particle separation and active droplet generation.