Fabrication and testing of a SU-8 thermal flow sensor
ABSTRACT In this work, a microthermal flow sensor integrated in a completely polymeric based microfluidic chip is presented. The fabrication process is based on photolithography of SU-8 layers to pattern the fluidic channels, surface treatment processes in order to improve adhesion of metal layer on top of the polymer, and the use of an adhesive bonding of two patterned SU-8 layers, allowing an easy packaging and integration with other SU-8 based devices like micropumps, microvalves, etc. Characterization of the device shows its successful performance detecting flows in the order of tens of μl/min, working at heater temperatures from 60 °C down to 40 °C. Moreover, the sensor exhibits a linear response at flows below 25 μl/min and the detection of volumes in the range of nanoliters. Such characteristics of the sensor are of great interest for its use in biological applications.
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ABSTRACT: Studies concerning the functional status of the corneal epithelium are of special interest due to its key role in preventing ocular surface disease and corneal infections. In particular, quantitative measurements of the epithelium permeability translayer electrical resistance (TER) have been proven as a sensitive in vitro test for evaluation of the corneal barrier function. In a recent work from the authors (Guimera et al. Biosens. Bioelectron. 31:55-61, 2012), a novel method to non-invasively assess the corneal epithelial permeability by using tetrapolar impedance measurements, based on the same TER theoretical principles, was presented and validated using a rigid sensing device. In this work, the usability of this method has been dramatically improved by using SU-8 photoresist as a substrate material. The flexibility of this novel sensing device makes no need to apply pressure on the cornea to ensure the electrical contact between the electrodes and the corneal surface. The feasibility of this flexible sensor has been evaluated in vivo by increasing the permeability of rabbit corneal epithelium. For that, different concentrations of benzalkonium chloride (BAC) solution were instilled on different rabbit corneas. The obtained results have been compared with measurements of the permeability to sodium fluorescein of different excised corneas, a well-known method used to evaluate the corneal barrier function, to demonstrate the feasibility of this novel flexible sensor for quantifying the corneal epithelium permeability in vivo in a non-invasive way.Biomedical Microdevices 05/2013; · 2.72 Impact Factor