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Issue 7, 2018
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In situ photo-patterning of pressure-resistant hydrogel membranes with controlled permeabilities in PEGDA microfluidic channels

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Abstract

We report the fabrication of highly permeable membranes in poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) channels, for investigating ultra- or micro-filtration, at the microfluidic scale. More precisely, we used a maskless UV projection setup to photo-pattern PEG-based hydrogel membranes on a large scale (mm–cm), and with a spatial resolution of a few microns. We show that these membranes can withstand trans-membrane pressure drops of up to 7 bar without any leakage, thanks to the strong anchoring of the hydrogel to the channel walls. We also report in situ measurements of the Darcy permeability of these membranes, as a function of the deposited energy during photo-polymerization, and their formulation composition. We show that the use of PEG chains as porogens, as proposed in [Lee et al., Biomacromolecules, 2010, 11, 3316], significantly increases the porosity of the hydrogels, up to Darcy permeabilities of about 1.5 × 10−16 m2, while maintaining the strong mechanical stability of the membranes. We finally illustrate the opportunities offered by this technique, by investigating frontal filtration of colloidal dispersions in a straight microfluidic channel.

Graphical abstract: In situ photo-patterning of pressure-resistant hydrogel membranes with controlled permeabilities in PEGDA microfluidic channels

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Dec 2017, accepted on 14 Feb 2018 and first published on 14 Feb 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7LC01342F
Citation: Lab Chip, 2018,18, 1075-1083
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    In situ photo-patterning of pressure-resistant hydrogel membranes with controlled permeabilities in PEGDA microfluidic channels

    J. Decock, M. Schlenk and J. Salmon, Lab Chip, 2018, 18, 1075
    DOI: 10.1039/C7LC01342F

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