Acoustofluidic stick-and-play micropump built on foil for single-cell trapping
The majority of microfluidic devices nowadays are built on rigid or bulky substrates such as glass slides and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) slabs, and heavily rely on external equipment such as syringe pumps. Although a variety of micropumps have been developed in the past, few of them are suitable for flexible microfluidics or lab-on-a-foil systems. In this paper, stick-and-play acoustic micropump is built on thin and flexible plastic film by printing microstructures termed defended oscillating membrane equipped structures (DOMES) using two-photon polymerization. Specifically, this new micropump induces rectified flow upon the actuation of acoustic waves, and the flow patterns agree with simulation results very well. More importantly, the developed micropump has the capabilities to generate adjustable flow rates as high as 420 nL min−1, and does not suffer from problems such as bubble instability, gas dissolution, and undesired bubble-trapping that commonly occur in other forms of acoustic micropumps. Since the micropump works in stick-and-play mode, it is reusable after cleaning thanks to the easy separation of covers and substrates. Lastly, the developed micropump is applied for creating a self-pumped single-cell trapping device. The excellent trapping capability of the integrated device proves its potential for long-term studies of biological behaviors of individual cells for biomedical applications.