On-demand generation and removal of alginate biocompatiblemicrovalves for flow control in microfluidics
J. Saez, J. Etxebarria, M. Antoñana-Diez, F. Benito-Lopez
Sensors & Actuators: B. Chemical
This paper describes, for the first time, the use of alginate hydrogels as miniaturised microvalves within microfluidic devices. These biocompatible and biodegradable microvalves are generated in situ and on demand, allowing for microfluidic flow control. The microfluidic devices were fabricated using an origami inspired technique of folding several layers of cyclic olefin polymer followed by thermocompression bonding. The hydrogels can be dehydrated at mild temperatures, 37 °C, to slightly open the microvalve and chemically erased using an ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid disodium salt (EDTA) solution, to completely open the channel, ensuring the reusability of the whole device and removal of damaged or defective valves for subsequent regeneration.