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Issue 20, 2011
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Green microfluidic devices made of corn proteins

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Abstract

An alternative green microfluidic device made of zein, a prolamin of corn, can be utilized as a disposable environmentally friendly microchip especially in agriculture applications. Using standard soft lithography and stereo lithography techniques, we fabricated thin zein films with microfluidic chambers and channels. These were bonded to both a glass slide and another zein film. The zein film with microfluidic features bonds irreversibly with other surfaces by vapor-deposition of ethanol to create an adhesive layer resulting in very little or no trapped air and small shape distortion. Zein-zein and zein-glass microfluidic devices demonstrated sufficient strength to facilitate fluid flow in a complex microfluidic design that showed no leakage under high hydraulic pressure. Zein-glass microfluidic devices with serpentine mixing design showed successful fluid manipulation as a concentration gradient of Rhodamine B solution was generated. The ease of fabrication and bonding and the flexibility and moldability of zein offer attractive possibilities for microfluidic device design and manufacturing. These devices can include several unit operations with mixing being one of the most commonly used. The zein-based microfluidic devices, made entirely from a biopolymer from agricultural origin, offer alternative environmentally friendly material choices that are less dependent on limited petroleum based polymer resources.

Graphical abstract: Green microfluidic devices made of corn proteins

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Publication details

The article was received on 06 Aug 2011, accepted on 16 Aug 2011 and first published on 15 Sep 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20726A
Citation: Lab Chip, 2011,11, 3419-3425
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    Green microfluidic devices made of corn proteins

    J. Luecha, A. Hsiao, S. Brodsky, G. L. Liu and J. L. Kokini, Lab Chip, 2011, 11, 3419
    DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20726A

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