Photochromic spiropyran monolithic polymers: Molecular photo-controllable electroosmotic pumps for micro-fluidic devices
Walsh, Zarah and Benito-Lopez, Fernando and Scarmagnani, Silvia and Abele, Silvija and Nie, Fu-Qiang and Slater, Conor and Byrne, Robert and Diamond, Dermot and Paull, Brett and Macka, Mirek (2010) Photochromic spiropyran monolithic polymers: Molecular photo-controllable electroosmotic pumps for micro-fluidic devices. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 148 (2). pp. 569-572. ISSN 0925-4005
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A novel photo-controllable micro-fluidic electroosmotic pump based on spiropyran monolithic polymers is presented here for the first time. Photochromic monolithic scaffolds have been synthesised within poly(tetrafluoroethylene) coated fused silica capillaries. These monoliths have a photochromic spiropyran monomer incorporated in the bulk by thermally induced copolymerisation with a cross-linking agent (divinylbenzene) and were encased in micro-fluidic devices to function as photo-controllable electroosmotic pumps (EOPs). Due to the presence of the spiropyran the monolith can exist in two forms: a zwitterionic merocyanine (MC) form and an uncharged spiropyran (SP). As both forms bare a net overall zero charge, an acidic electrolyte was used to produce a stable anodic electroosmotic flow (EOF), while still retaining the ability to switch between the SP and the MC forms, which exhibit different charge distributions. It was confirmed that visible light, which produces the SP form, caused an increase in EOF while UV light, which generates the MC form, caused a decrease in EOF. In this way the EOF from the chip was modified by light and not by changing the electric field, temperature or buffer pH, some of the more common methods of altering the EOF.
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