Towards the generation of fully functioning biomimetic analytical platforms for water quality analysis using ionogel
Czugala, Monika and Benito-Lopez, Fernando and Diamond, Dermot (2011) Towards the generation of fully functioning biomimetic analytical platforms for water quality analysis using ionogel. In: Seminar in Microfluidics , 16th Sept 2011, Centro Nacional de Microelectronica (CNM), Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
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Increased demand for improved water management with greatly improved price/performance characteristics is a driving need for water quality monitoring systems. Typical analysis methods are very costly and time consuming, therefore simple, rapid, accurate, cost-effective field-deployable sensors incorporating wireless communication capabilities need to be developed. The main requirements of these sensors such as reproducibility, low cost as well as selectivity and sensitivity must be met for scale-up and mass fabrication allowing for real-time monitoring as well as widespread field deployment.
The first use of a wireless paired emitter detector diode (PEDD) as an optical sensor for water quality monitoring in a lab-on-a-disc device will be presented (Figure 1a). The microfluidic platform is based on a pH dye/ionogel sensing area (Figure 1b), combined with a low-cost, wireless optical sensor, PEDD, for monitoring the pH and the degree of turbidity of water samples in real time. So far, environmental water quality analysis has been provided by standard lab-on-a-chip systems, but not by centrifugal disc (CDs) platforms, which offer many advantages.
Sensors development is highly related to the generation and control of liquid flow within the micro-channels. Adaptive multifunctional materials are materials whose characteristics can be altered using an external stimulus without physical contact and therefore, can be used for fluid control. Photoswitchable materials posses the obvious advantage that arises from the use of non-contact, non invasive stimuli, such as light. The fabrication, characterisation and performance of novel ionic liquid polymer gels (ionogels) as photo-actuated microvalves incorporated into micro-fluidic manifolds will be presented (Figure 2). The valves are actuated by simply applying localised white light irradiation, meaning that no physical contact between the actuation impulse (light) and the valve structure is required.
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