Biocompatible packaging approach for Lab-on-a-Chip reactor cartridges

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Supervisor:
Dr. Ender Ferenc
Department of Electron Devices

The implementation of microfluidics into the research of biological sciences has found success in applications such as Lab-on-a-chip (LOC) and Micro Total Analysis Systems (µTAS) due to the advantages such as economy, portability, easy handling, among others. Enzymes are proteins that catabolize a chemical reaction, and not only they are useful molecules due to their capacity to convert a substrate into a product on a continuous basis, but they are used also as biosensors, in drug discovery and for food safety analysis. Storing enzymes in dry form is a general technique to preserve their activity for a longer period. Enzymes are solubilised only before use. This approach is challenging to adopt in microfluidics due to technology incompatibilities, such as maintain integrity and functionality of such biomolecules during the main microfluidics fabrication methods due to excessive temperature requirements and/or the use of harsh reaction conditions for bonding techniques. In this work we studied the fabrication of a functional PDMS-glass microreactor chip which can host immobilized enzymes in soluble poly-vinyl alcohol (PVA) nanofibers. Using the plasma bonding technique, the parameters were optimized, finding that bonding can be achieved by treating glass for only 1s, allowing protein survival and preserving 74% of the initial catalytic activity.

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