Shrink-Induced, Self-Driven Microfluidic Devices

Tech ID: 24055 / UC Case 2014-146-0

Brief Description

The addition of novel surface modifications and use of shrink-wrap film to create devices will yield self-driven, shrink-induced microfluidic detection for samples such as bodily fluids. Novel fabrications and surfaces will have a profound impact on the creation of point of care diagnostics.

Full Description

Microfluidic devices are used to handle small volumes of liquids therefore making it a powerful tool for many types of applications including research and point-of-care diagnostics. There are many limitations to the current microfluidic technology. The traditional methods used for creating microfluidics are photolithography, chemical vapor deposition, and self assembled monolayers. However, this is costly and time consuming. The materials used to create microfluidic devices lead to reagent loss. In addition, the device needs extra equipment to control sample flow, such as valve pumps and power sources. Generally, it is difficult to amplify signals coming from the device therefore making it difficult to obtain accurate data. These disadvantages can be eliminated with the use of a new, simple fabrication strategy with novel modifications to the surfaces.

A new strategy will be combining novel surface modifications and new fabrication methods to create self-driven microfluidics. The use of shrink-wrap film to fabricate microfluidic devices will eliminate the need to resort to traditional methods. Consequently, it will reduce time and costs needed to create each device. Secondly, the microfluidic device surfaces will include novel modifications and patternings that will results in self-driven flow therefore eliminating the need for extra equipment and loss of reagents. Lastly, the effects of the sample evaporation on the surface modifications will results in signal amplification thereby leading to better sensitivity in data collection. Overall, shrink-induced microfluidics with novel surfaces can be easily made, self-driven, and have the ability to concentrate signals to increase sensitivity of bodily fluids. This process and modifications makes the microfluidic device suited for creating improved point-of-care diagnostics.

UCI researchers have created a novel microfluidic device that utilizes shrink-induced materials to create self-driven flow that can be applied to point-of-care diagnostics.

Suggested uses

This study demonstrates the ability to create low-cost, self-driven microfluidic devices that are able to perform sample concentration for data analysis. The novel modifications cause the surfaces to become uniquely patterned. The patterning of the surfaces can create flow in a desired direction. Another characteristic of these surfaces cause sample concentrating during the sample’s natural process of evaporation. All together, the use of shrink-induced materials to create microfluidics with these unique surfaces can lead to lower cost/labor/equipment, better detection, and increased sensitivity. For these reasons, this strategy would be extremely valuable to use when creating microfluidic devices for point-of-care diagnostics.


1. Self-driven microfluidic (no need for external equipment, tubing, valving or loss of reagents)

2. Easily fabricated (no need for traditional methods)

3. Concentration effects

4. Applied uses for biological applications

5. Surfaces that prevent blood coagulation

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 20160169867 06/16/2016 2014-146


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