Alar Ainla

Alar Ainla
International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory · Department of Micro- and Nanofabrication

PhD

About

48
Publications
10,812
Reads
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2,263
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2014 - present
Harvard University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
April 2013 - present
Chalmers University of Technology
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Working with microfluidics, lipid based systems and graphene
June 2012 - present
Avalance Biotech AB
Position
  • Chief Technology Officer / Founder
Description
  • Development and commercialisation of the Multifunctional Pipette
Education
April 2008 - March 2013
Chalmers University of Technology
Field of study
  • Chemistry
September 2006 - March 2008
Chalmers University of Technology
Field of study
  • Nanoscale science and technology
September 2005 - June 2006
Uppsala University
Field of study
  • Organic and polymer chemistry

Publications

Publications (48)
Chapter
In recent years, we have seen major advances in the field of liquid biopsy and its implementation in the clinic, mainly driven by breakthrough developments in the area of molecular biology. New developments have seen an integration of microfluidics and also biosensors in liquid biopsy systems, bringing advantages in terms of cost, sensitivity and a...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last few years, there has been a scientific revolution with the appearance of organ-on-a-chip models that overcome the limitations of conventional 2D systems, while reproducing more faithfully the in vivo features of tissues and organs. The integration of sensors in these systems allows the monitoring of a variety of parameters that could...
Article
In article number 2005320, Irep Gözen and co‐workers demonstrate that the spontaneous subcompartmentalization of model protocells is governed by the physicochemical interaction of the protocell membranes with mineral‐like solid interfaces. In the described experiments, several tens of compartments emerge on the basal membrane of each adhered model...
Article
Membrane enclosed intracellular compartments have been exclusively associated with the eukaryotes, represented by the highly compartmentalized last eukaryotic common ancestor. Recent evidence showing the presence of membranous compartments with specific functions in archaea and bacteria makes it conceivable that the last universal common ancestor a...
Preprint
Membrane enclosed intracellular compartments have been exclusively associated with the eukaryotes, represented by the highly compartmentalized last eukaryotic common ancestor. Recent evidence showing the presence of membranous compartments with specific functions in archaea and bacteria makes it conceivable that the last universal common ancestor a...
Article
In this study, we have systematically investigated the formation of molecular phospholipid films on a variety of solid substrates fabricated from typical surface engineering materials and the fluidic properties of the lipid membranes formed on these substrates. The surface materials comprise of borosilicate glass, mica, SiO2, Al (native oxide), Al2...
Article
This paper describes the fabrication of elastomeric three‐dimensional (3D) structures starting from two‐dimensional (2D) sheets using a combination of direct‐ink printing and relaxation of strain. These structures are fabricated in a two‐step process: first, elastomeric inks are deposited as 2D structures on a stretched elastomeric sheet, and secon...
Article
Full-text available
Potentiometric sensing of ions with ion-selective electrodes (ISEs) is a powerful technique for selective and sensitive measurement of ions in complex matrices. Application of ISEs is generally limited to laboratory settings, because most commercially available ISEs and reference electrodes are large, delicate, and expensive, and are not suitable f...
Article
This paper describes the design and characterization of an open-source universal wireless electrochemical detector (UWED). This detector interfaces with a smartphone (or a tablet) using Bluetooth Low Energy protocol; the smartphone provides (i) a user interface for receiving the experimental parameters from the user and visualizing the result in re...
Article
This paper describes a four‐variable model for an enzymatic oscillator based on trypsin. Variables in this model are concentrations of the essential proteins (trypsin and trypsinogen) and small molecules (masked and active inhibitors of trypsin) within the network. Importantly, to simplify the model, non‐essential side reactions are neglected and e...
Article
Almost all pneumatic and hydraulic actuators useful for mesoscale functions rely on hard valves for control. This article describes a soft, elastomeric valve that contains a bistable membrane, which acts as a mechanical “switch” to control air flow. A structural instability—often called “snap-through”—enables rapid transition between two stable sta...
Article
This article demonstrates a pneumatically actuated soft robot capable of navigating the inside of a tube. This robot was built using buckling pneumatic actuators (vacuum-actuated muscle-inspired pneumatic structures, or VAMPs). The tube climber can navigate through a tube with turns, inclines, and varying diameters. The robot is also able to remove...
Article
This paper describes electrically-activated fluidic valves that operate based on electrowetting through textiles. The valves are fabricated from electrically conductive, insulated, hydrophobic textiles, but the concept can be extended to other porous materials. When the valve is closed, the liquid cannot pass through the hydrophobic textile. Upon a...
Article
This article describes a soft pneumatic actuator that generates cyclical motion. The actuator consists of several (three, four, or five) chambers (arranged around the circumference of a circle surrounding a central rod) that can be actuated independently using negative pressure (or partial vacuum). Sequential actuation of the four-chamber device us...
Article
This article describes a class of robots-"arthrobots"-inspired, in part, by the musculoskeletal system of arthropods (spiders and insects, inter alia). Arthrobots combine mechanical compliance, lightweight and simple construction, and inexpensive yet scalable design. An exoskeleton, constructed from thin organic polymeric tubes, provides lightweigh...
Article
Full-text available
We present a process for fabrication of free-standing SU-8 probes, with a dry, mechanical release of the final micro-devices. The process utilizes the thermal release tape, a commonly used cleanroom material, for facile heat-release from the sacrificial layer. For characterization of the SU-8 microfluidic probes, two liquid interfaces were designed...
Article
Full-text available
Networks of organic chemical reactions are important in life and probably played a central part in its origin. Network dynamics regulate cell division, circadian rhythms, nerve impulses and chemotaxis, and guide the development of organisms. Although out-of-equilibrium networks of chemical reactions have the potential to display emergent network dy...
Article
This paper describes the design and fabrication of a "pop-up" electrochemical paper-based analytical device (pop-up-EPAD) to measure beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB)-a biomarker for diabetic ketoacidosis-using a commercial combination BHB/glucometer. Pop-up-EPADs are inspired by pop-up greeting cards and children's books. They are made from a single shee...
Article
Current methods of monitoring breathing require cumbersome, inconvenient, and often expensive devices; this requirement sets practical limitations on the frequency and duration of measurements. This article describes a paper-based moisture sensor that uses the hygroscopic character of paper (i.e. the ability of paper to adsorb water reversibly from...
Article
Paper microfluidics and printed electronics have developed independently, and are incompatible in many aspects. This work demonstrates monolithic integration of microfluidics and electronics on paper. This integration makes it possible to print two- and 3D fluidic, electrofluidic, and electrical components on paper, and to fabricate devices using t...
Article
This work describes the adaptive use of conventional stainless steel pins-used in unmodified form or coated with carbon paste-as working, counter, and quasi-reference electrodes in electrochemical devices fabricated using cotton thread or embossed omniphobic R(F) paper to contain the electrolyte and sample. For some applications, these pin electrod...
Article
Soft, pneumatic actuators that buckle when interior pressure is less than exterior provide a new mechanism of actuation. Upon application of negative pneumatic pressure, elastic beam elements in these actuators undergo reversible, cooperative collapse, and generate a rotational motion. These actuators are inexpensive to fabricate, lightweight, easy...
Article
Soft, pneumatic actuators that buckle when interior pressure is less than exterior provide a new mechanism of actuation. Upon application of negative pneumatic pressure, elastic beam elements in these actuators undergo reversible, cooperative collapse, and generate a rotational motion. These actuators are inexpensive to fabricate, lightweight, easy...
Article
Direct electron-beam lithography is used to fabricate nanostructured Teflon AF surfaces, which are utilized to pattern surface-supported monolayer phospholipid films with 50 nm lateral feature size. In comparison with unexposed Teflon AF coatings, e-beam-irradiated areas show reduced surface tension and surface potential. For phospholipid monolayer...
Article
Here we report on a novel approach for the study of single-cell intracellular enzyme activity at various temperatures, utilizing a localised laser heating probe in combination with a freely positionable microfluidic perfusion device. Through directed exposure of individual cells to the pore-forming agent α-hemolysin, we controlled the membrane perm...
Article
Full-text available
Lipid bilayer membranes are among the most ubiquitous structures in the living world, with intricate structural features and a multitude of biological functions. It is attractive to recreate these structures in the laboratory, as this allows mimicking and studying the properties of biomembranes and their constituents, and to specifically exploit th...
Article
Full-text available
We demonstrate the contactless generation of lipid nanotube networks by means of thermally induced migration of flat giant unilamellar vesicles (FGUVs), covering micro-scale areas on oxidized aluminum surfaces. A temperature gradient with a reach of 20 μm was generated using a focused IR laser, leading to a surface adhesion gradient, along which FG...
Article
Full-text available
We report the application of a microfluidic device for semi-contact temperature measurement in picoliter volumes of aqueous media. Our device, a freely positionable multifunctional pipette, operates by a hydrodynamic confinement principle, i.e., by creating a virtual flow cell of micrometer dimensions within a greater aqueous volume. We utilized tw...
Article
Full-text available
We present here a novel platform combination, using a multifunctional pipette to individually electroporate single-cells and to locally deliver an analyte, while in their culture environment. We demonstrate a method to fabricate low-resistance metallic electrodes into a PDMS pipette, followed by characterization of its effectiveness, benefits and l...
Article
Full-text available
Hydrodynamically confined flow device technology is a young research area with high practical application potential in surface processing, assay development, and in various areas of single cell research. Several variants have been developed, and most recently, theoretical and conceptual studies, as well as fully developed automated systems, were pr...
Article
Full-text available
Microfluidics has emerged as a powerful laboratory toolbox for biologists, allowing manipulation and analysis of processes at a cellular and sub-cellular level, through utilization of microfabricated features at size-scales relevant to that of a single cell. In the majority of microfluidic devices, sample processing and analysis occur within closed...
Article
We report on a free-standing microfluidic pipette made in poly(dimethylsiloxane) having a circulating liquid tip that generates a self-confining volume in front of the outlet channels. The method is flexible and scalable as the geometry and the size of the recirculation zone is defined by pressure, channel number, and geometry. The pipette is capab...
Article
We demonstrate that pulse width flow modulation (PWFM) can be used to design fast, accurate, and precise multistage dilution modules for microfluidic devices. The PWFM stage unit presented here yields 10-fold dilution, but several PWFM stages can be connected in series to yield higher-order dilutions. We have combined two stages in a device thus ca...
Article
Full-text available
The preparation of solutions of different concentrations is often an essential part of chemical or biological assays. We have developed a pulsed microfluidic dilution concept, suitably for flexible programming of an accurate output solution concentration. Only minute amounts of chemicals are needed and dilution series with high resolution can be ge...
Article
Nafion®–PBI composites were prepared by diffusing synthesized PBI from solution phase into Nafion® membranes, using different concentrations and drying temperatures. In some cases, Nafion® was treated with diethyl amine to screen the –SO3H groups and thereby avoid the strong acid–base interactions between the polymers during diffusion. The presence...
Article
Molecular Dynamics (MD) techniques have been used to study the structure and dynamics of hydrated Li- and Na-Nafion membranes. The membranes were generated using a Monte Carlo-approach for Nafion 117 oligomers of Mw = 1100 and with water contents of 7.5 and 20 % by weight, equivalent to 5 and 15 water molecules per sulfonate group, respectively. Af...
Article
The purpose of this educational literature based study is to explain principles of some techniques for measurement of single-molecule resistance, as well give qualitative idea about transport processes along molecules and factors that could affect it. All details and numerical values are omitted here and could be found in other papers.

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