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Additive manufacturing methods and materials for electrokinetic systems
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Surface Physics and Chemistry. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Fabrication of miniaturized devices is usually time-consuming, costly, and the materials commonly used limit the structures that are possible to create. The techniques most often used to make microsystems involve multiple steps, where each step takes considerable time, and if only a few systems are to be made, the price per device becomes excessive. This thesis describes how a simple syringebased 3D-printer, in combination with an appropriate choice of materials, can reduce the delay between design and prototype and simplify fabrication of microsystems. This thesis suggest two types of materials that we propose be used in combination with 3D-printing to further develop microsystems for biology and biochemistry.

Analytical applications in biology and biochemistry often contain electrodes, such as in gel electrophoresis. Faradaic (electrochemical) reactions have to occur at the metal electrodes to allow electron-to-ion transduction through an electrolyte-based system to drive a current when a potential is applied to the electrodes in an electrolyte-based system. These electrochemical reactions at the electrodes, such as water electrolysis, are usually problematic when miniaturizing devices and analytical systems. An alternative to metal electrodes can be electrochemicallyactive conducting polymers, e.g. poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT), which can be used to reduce electrolysis when driving a current through water-based systems. Paper 1 describes gel electrophoresis where the platinum electrodes were replaced with the conductive polymer PEDOT, without affecting the separation.

Manufacturing and prototyping of microsystems can be simplified by using 3Dprinting in combination with a sacrificial material. A sacrificial template material can further simplify bottom-up manufacturing of more complicated forms such as protruding and overhanging structures. We showed in paper 2 that polyethylene glycol (PEG), in combination with a carbonate-based plasticizer, functions well as a 3D-printable sacrificial template material. PEG2000 with between 20 wt% and 30 wt% ethylene carbonate or propylene carbonate has properties advantageous for 3D-printing, such as shear-thinning rheology, mechanical and chemical stability, and easy dissolution in water.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. , 32 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1724
National Category
Physical Sciences Physical Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121252DOI: 10.3384/lic.diva-121252ISBN: 978-91-7685-988-9 (print)OAI: diva2:852816
2015-10-02, Röntgen, Fysikhuset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (Swedish)

In the printed version the thesis number 1720 on the cover is incorrect. The correct thesis number is 1724 which is corrected in the electronic version.

Available from: 2015-09-10 Created: 2015-09-10 Last updated: 2015-09-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Conducting Polymer Electrodes for Gel Electrophoresis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conducting Polymer Electrodes for Gel Electrophoresis
2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 2, 0089416- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In nearly all cases, electrophoresis in gels is driven via the electrolysis of water at the electrodes, where the process consumes water and produces electrochemical by-products. We have previously demonstrated that p-conjugated polymers such as poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) can be placed between traditional metal electrodes and an electrolyte to mitigate electrolysis in liquid (capillary electroosmosis/electrophoresis) systems. In this report, we extend our previous result to gel electrophoresis, and show that electrodes containing PEDOT can be used with a commercial polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis system with minimal impact to the resulting gel image or the ionic transport measured during a separation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public Library of Science, 2014
National Category
Engineering and Technology
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105901 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0089416 (DOI)000331711900141 ()
Available from: 2014-04-14 Created: 2014-04-12 Last updated: 2015-09-10Bibliographically approved
2. Plasticized polyethylene glycol as sacrificial support and template material for syringe-based 3D-printing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Plasticized polyethylene glycol as sacrificial support and template material for syringe-based 3D-printing
2015 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Syringe-based 3D-printing is a powerful additive manufacturing method for fabricating short runs (small volumes) of components from multiple materials with a wide range of viscosities. However, objects that are hollow or not in complete contact with the printer’s stage are difficult to fabricate. Using a sacrificial template as a supporting layer enables bottom-up construction of complex structures. Template materials based on polyethylene glycol (PEG) plasticized with organic carbonates to tune their rheological (shear-thinning) and thermal (crystallization) properties have been evaluated, including results from rheometry, differential scanning calorimetry, dissolution rate, chemical compatibility with  polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), and general functionality in a syringe-based 3D-printer. A family of such blends yields material that is easily printed, is stable over time, is soluble in water, and can support other materials and larger structures without collapsing. These mixtures are proposed for use with other extrudable or mouldable materials to enable 3D-printed devices with complex unsupported geometries.

3D-Printing, polyethylene glycol, organic carbonates, sacrificial template, extrusion
National Category
Physical Sciences Physical Chemistry
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121250 (URN)
Available from: 2015-09-10 Created: 2015-09-10 Last updated: 2015-09-10Bibliographically approved

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