In search of low cost biological analysis: Wax or acrylic glue bonded paper microfluidic devices
KAUST DepartmentComputational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC)
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AbstractIn this body of work we have been developing and characterizing paper based microfluidic fabrication technologies to produce low cost biological analysis. Specifically we investigated the performance of paper microfluidics that had been bonded using wax or acrylic glue, and characterized the affect of these and other microfluidic materials on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We report a simple, low-cost and detachable microfluidic chip incorporating easily accessible paper, glass slides or other polymer films as the chip materials along with adhesive wax or cyanoacrylate-based resin as the recycling bonding material. We use a laser to cut through the paper or film to form patterns and then sandwich the paper and film between glass sheets or polymer membranes. The hot-melt adhesive wax or simple cyanoacrylate-based resin can realize bridge bonding between various materials, for example, paper, polymethylmethacrylate film, glass sheets, or metal plate. The wax bonding process is reversible and the wax is reusable through a melting and cooling process. With this process, a three-dimensional (3D) microfluidic chip is achievable by evacuating the channels of adhesive material in a hot-water. We applied the wax-paper based microfluidic chip to HeLa cell electroporation. Subsequently, a prototype of a 5-layer 3D chip was fabricated by multilayer wax bonding. To check the sealing ability and the durability of the chip, green fluorescence protein recombinant E. coli bacteria were cultured, with which the chemotaxis of E. coli was studied in order to determine the influence of antibiotic ciprofloxacin concentration on the E. coli migration. The chip bonded with cyanoacrylate-based resin was tested by measuring protein concentration and carrying out DNA capillary electrophoresis. To study the biocompatibility and applicability of our microfluidic chip fabrication technology, we tested the PCR compatibility of our chip materials along with various other common materials employed in the fabrication of microfluidic chips including: silicon, several kinds of silicon oxide, glasses, plastics, wax, and adhesives, etc. Two-temperature PCR was performed with these materials to determine their PCR-inhibitory effect. In most of the cases, addition of bovine serum albumin effectively improved the reaction yield. We also studied the individual PCR components from the standpoint of adsorption. Most of the materials did not inhibit the DNA, whereas they did show noticeable interaction with the DNA polymerase. This work provides a simple low cost fabrication method for creating microfluidic devices for biological analysis. Example assays were undertaken and the biocompatibility of our technology was studied, both of which demonstrated the utility of our approach.
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