Abstract

Superhydrophobic surface-based optofluidics have been introduced to biosensors and unconventional optics recently with unique advantages such as dynamic adjustable optical properties, low light loss, and high versatility. Most of these platforms were manufactured by Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) manufacturing technology and usually need to be further packaged or sealed. Although the MEMS-based technology is prone to make an integrated device containing sensing and electronic components, the technology may constrain the design of the morphology of the featured structures. For example, it was hard to manufacture a three-dimensional, fully enclosed round channel with complex structures along the inner surface. The limitations could prevent the researchers from potentially advanced and innovative designs. Microstereolithography (µSLA) has emerged as a versatile solution primarily due to its comparable resolution and compact manufacturing processes. This technology has been found widespread in applications across various fields, particularly in the realms of biology and chemistry. In this study, we harnessed the power of µSLA to revolutionize the design of superhydrophobic surface-based optofluidic probes. Our approach involved the creation of optofluidic chips with diverse T-shape structured configurations, followed by transmission measurements and ray tracing simulations. After the analysis, we were able to identify the main design factors (solid area fraction at the solid/water/air interface, the cross-section shape, and the effective cladding layer composition) and determine the optimal dimensions for the curl T-shape design, which were found to be approximately 524 µm in width, around 50 µm in thickness, and 350 µm in length, with longitudinal spaces of 260 µm between them. To validate the feasibility of our optofluidic probes, we conducted experiments in two distinct settings. The first setting mimicked an in vivo scenario, utilizing human plasma as the medium and a thyroid biopsy training phantom as the environment. The second setting, designed to simulate ex vivo conditions, involved the use of fluorescence-stained mouse brain slices. In conclusion, our study preliminarily highlights the potential of µSLA-based optofluidic probes, particularly in animal soft tissue research.

Publication Date

12-5-2023

Document Type

Dissertation

Student Type

Graduate

Degree Name

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (Ph.D)

Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering

College

Kate Gleason College of Engineering

Advisor

Ke Du

Advisor/Committee Member

Michael Schertzer

Advisor/Committee Member

Stefan Preble

Campus

RIT – Main Campus

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