APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Can be applied to different imaging systems including far-field spectromicroscopy and near-field nanospectroscopy
- Examples of suitable applications include: characterization of exosomes, vesicles, viruses, microbe-host cell interactions, enzymatic deconstruction of plant materials, biogeochemical processes, signaling during cell migrations like pathogenesis and regeneration
- Fabrication is easy to perform and low-cost, and thus can be handled as a disposable microfluidics chip for chemical and biological analysis
Current widely-established spectroscopy methods do not offer real-time, near-field measurements of active biological materials and living microscopic cells in aqueous environments. There is a need for chemical/molecular sensing, imaging, and characterization of active biomaterials or living cells in a sustainable hydrated native-like environment with ultra-sensitivity and spatial resolutions.
This invention provides an improved open-channel device for controlling a steady fluid flow over a biological specimen, allowing for continuous infrared (IR) measurements without masking IR signals from the specimen. This invention further provides a method of suppressing evaporative loss from fluid and inhibiting dehydration of the specimen during long-term continuous IR measurements.
This open-channel device can be applied to different infrared imaging systems including far-field infrared spectromicroscopy and near-field infrared nano spectroscopy for controlling and switching fluid flow to achieve different hydration states during measurements. Examples of suitable applications include, but are not limited to, characterization of exosomes, vesicles, viruses, microbe-host cell interactions, enzymatic deconstruction of plant materials, biogeochemical processes, signaling during cell migrations like pathogenesis and regeneration.
This IR spectral microscope stage device includes two plasma-bonded 3-dimensional microfluidic structures comprising PDMS (polydimethyl-siloxane) layers. The bottom substructure comprises an open-channel microfluidic membrane device designed to produce a continuous and steady flow of fluid below a nano-porous membrane having biomaterials or living cells in a thin layer of fluid on top. The top substructure comprises a capillary-array device that is designed to produce a continuous and steady capillary flow of humid air with relative humidity similar to the humidity near the surface of biomaterials or living cells. The device also includes fluidic resistors that are embedded in the bottom and the top PDMS stacks to dampen flow fluctuations arising from the mechanical instability of pumps and the elasticity of the PDMS surrounding.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle
STATUS: Patent pending.
OPPORTUNITIES: Available for licensing or collaborative research.
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