Fabrication of a Microfluidic Device for Axonal Guidance
Yuta Nakashima, and Takashi Yasuda
Graduate School of Life Science and System Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, 2-4 Hibikino, Wakamatsu-ku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka 808-0196, Japan
This paper presents the fabrication and testing of a microfluidic device having a hydrophobic passive microvalve and a nano-hole array for releasing NGF (Nerve Growth Factors). This device was realized by the microfabrication process of a SOI (Silicon on Insulator) wafer. The microvalve was constructed inside a microchannel and driven by inlet pressure. The nano-hole array was fabricated in a SiO2 membrane of 500nm in thickness using FIB (Focused Ion Beam) etching. Each nano-hole measured 500nm in diameter, and was smaller than the diameter of an axon terminal. The time and inlet pressure required for valve switching depended on the contact angle of the liquid and the material of the hydrophobic channel. Experiments using a fluorescent solution showed that chemical release through the nano-holes was successfully controlled by opening and closing the microvalve. This result suggests that the fabricated device can control NGF release that is required to guide a nerve axon in a specific direction.
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