Support-Material-Free Microfluidics on an Electrochemical Sensors Platform by Aerosol Jet Printing.


Laboratory of Bio-Inspired & Graphene Nanomechanics, Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, Via Mesiano, 77, 38123 Trento, Italy. [Email]


Printed electronics have led to new possibilities in the detection and quantification of a wide range of molecules important for medical, biotechnological, and environmental fields. The integration with microfluidics is often adopted to avoid hand-deposition of little volumes of reagents and samples on miniaturized electrodes that strongly depend on operator's skills. Here we report design, fabrication and test of an easy-to-use electrochemical sensor platform with microfluidics entirely realized with Aerosol Jet Printing (AJP). We printed a six-electrochemical-sensors platform with AJP and we explored the possibility to aerosol jet print directly on it a microfluidic structure without any support material. Thus, the sacrificial material removal and/or the assembly with sensors steps are avoided. The repeatability observed when printing both conductive and ultraviolet (UV)-curable polymer inks can be supported from the values of relative standard deviation of maximum 5% for thickness and 9% for line width. We designed the whole microfluidic platform to make the sample deposition (20 μL) independent from the operator. To validate the platform, we quantified glucose at different concentrations using a standard enzyme-mediated procedure. Both mediator and enzyme were directly aerosol jet printed on working electrodes (WEs), thus the proposed platform is entirely fabricated by AJP and ready to use. The chronoamperometric tests show limit of detection (LOD) = 2.4 mM and sensitivity = 2.2 ± 0.08 µA/mM confirming the effectiveness of mediator and enzyme directly aerosol jet printed to provide sensing in a clinically relevant range (3-10 mM). The average relative standard inter-platform deviation is about 8%. AJP technique can be used for fabricating a ready-to-use microfluidic device that does not need further processing after fabrication, but is promptly available for electrochemical sample analysis.


3-D printing,Aerosol Jet Printing,glucose sensing,support-material-free microfluidics,voltammetric sensors,