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Characterization and applications of microfluidic devices based on immobilized biomaterials
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Microfluidic biosensors and bioreactors based on immobilized biomaterials are described in this dissertation. Photocrosslinkable hydrogel or polymeric microbeads were used as a supporting matrix for immobilizing E.coli or enzymes in a microfluidic device. This dissertation covers a microfluidic bioreactor based on hydrogel-entrapped E.coli, a microfluidic biosensor based on an array of hydrogel-entrapped enzymes, and a microfluidic bioreactor based on microbead-immobilized enzymes. Hydrogel micropatches containing E.coli were fabricated within a microfluidic channel by in-situ photopolymerization. The cells were viable in the hydrogel micropatch and their membranes could be porated by lysating agents. Entrapment of viable cells within hydrogels, followed by lysis, could provide a convenient means for preparing biocatalysts without the need for enzyme extraction and purification. Our results suggested that hydrogel-entrapped cells, immobilized within microfluidic channels, can act as sensors for small molecules and as bioreactors for carrying out reactions. A microfluidic biosensor based on an array of hydrogel-entrapped enzymes could be used to simultaneously detect different concentrations of the same analyte or multiple analyte in real time. The concentration of an enzyme inhibitor could be quantified using the same basic approach. Isolations of the microchannels within different microfluidic channels could eliminate the possibility of cross talk between enzymes. Finally, we characterized microfluidic bioreactors packed with microbead-immobilized enzymes that can carry out sequential, two-step enzyme-catalyzed reactions under flow conditions. The overall efficiency of the reactors depended on the spatial relationship of the two enzymes immobilized on the beads. Digital simulations confirmed the experimental results.
Heo, Jinseok (2005). Characterization and applications of microfluidic devices based on immobilized biomaterials. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from