Development and characterization of micromachined devices for separation techniques

Belluce, Maddalena (2013) Development and characterization of micromachined devices for separation techniques, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze chimiche, 25 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5843.
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Nowadays microfluidic is becoming an important technology in many chemical and biological processes and analysis applications. The potential to replace large-scale conventional laboratory instrumentation with miniaturized and self-contained systems, (called lab-on-a-chip (LOC) or point-of-care-testing (POCT)), offers a variety of advantages such as low reagent consumption, faster analysis speeds, and the capability of operating in a massively parallel scale in order to achieve high-throughput. Micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) technologies enable both the fabrication of miniaturized system and the possibility of developing compact and portable systems. The work described in this dissertation is towards the development of micromachined separation devices for both high-speed gas chromatography (HSGC) and gravitational field-flow fractionation (GrFFF) using MEMS technologies. Concerning the HSGC, a complete platform of three MEMS-based GC core components (injector, separation column and detector) is designed, fabricated and characterized. The microinjector consists of a set of pneumatically driven microvalves, based on a polymeric actuating membrane. Experimental results demonstrate that the microinjector is able to guarantee low dead volumes, fast actuation time, a wide operating temperature range and high chemical inertness. The microcolumn consists of an all-silicon microcolumn having a nearly circular cross-section channel. The extensive characterization has produced separation performances very close to the theoretical ideal expectations. A thermal conductivity detector (TCD) is chosen as most proper detector to be miniaturized since the volume reduction of the detector chamber results in increased mass and reduced dead volumes. The microTDC shows a good sensitivity and a very wide dynamic range. Finally a feasibility study for miniaturizing a channel suited for GrFFF is performed. The proposed GrFFF microchannel is at early stage of development, but represents a first step for the realization of a highly portable and potentially low-cost POCT device for biomedical applications.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Belluce, Maddalena
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze chimiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Data di discussione
17 Aprile 2013

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