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#28771367   2017/08/03 Save this To Up

Nanoscale Plasmonic V-Groove Waveguides for the Interrogation of Single Fluorescent Bacterial Cells.

We experimentally demonstrate the interrogation of an individual Escherichia coli cell using a nanoscale plasmonic V-groove waveguide. Several different configurations were studied. The first involved the excitation of the cell in a liquid environment because it flows on top of the waveguide nanocoupler, while the obtained fluorescence is coupled into the waveguide and collected at the other nanocoupler. The other two configurations involved the positioning of the bacterium within the nanoscale waveguide and its excitation in a dry environment either directly from the top or through waveguide modes. This is achieved by taking advantage of the waveguide properties not only for light guiding but also as a mechanical tool for trapping the bacteria within the V-grooves. The obtained results are supported by a set of numerical simulations, shedding more light on the mechanism of excitation. This demonstration paves the way for the construction of an efficient bioplasmonic chip for diverse cell-based sensing applications.

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#28771207   2017/08/03 Save this To Up

Hot Press as a Sustainable Direct Recycling Technique of Aluminium: Mechanical Properties and Surface Integrity.

Meltless recycling technique has been utilized to overcome the lack of primary resources, focusing on reducing the usage of energy and materials. Hot press was proposed as a novel direct recycling technique which results in astoundingly low energy usage in contrast with conventional recycling. The aim of this study is to prove the technical feasibility of this approach by characterizing the recycled samples. For this purpose, AA6061 aluminium chips were recycled by utilizing hot press process under various operating temperature (Ts = 430, 480, and 530 °C) and holding times (ts = 60, 90, and 120 min). The maximum mechanical properties of recycled chip are Ultimate tensile strength (UTS) = 266.78 MPa, Elongation to failure (ETF) = 16.129%, while, for surface integrity of the chips, the calculated microhardness is 81.744 HV, exhibited at Ts = 530 °C and ts = 120 min. It is comparable to theoretical AA6061 T4-temper where maximum UTS and microhardness is increased up to 9.27% and 20.48%, respectively. As the desired mechanical properties of forgings can only be obtained by means of a final heat treatment, T5-temper, aging after forging process was employed. Heat treated recycled billet AA6061 (T5-temper) are considered comparable with as-received AA6061 T6, where the value of microhardness (98.649 HV) at 175 °C and 120 min of aging condition was revealed to be greater than 3.18%. Although it is quite early to put a base mainly on the observations in experimental settings, the potential for significant improvement offered by the direct recycling methods for production aluminium scrap can be clearly demonstrated. This overtures perspectives for industrial development of solid state recycling processes as environmentally benign alternatives of current melting based practices.

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#28769882   2017/08/03 Save this To Up

Physically Triggered Morphology Changes in a Novel Acremonium Isolate Cultivated in Precisely Engineered Microfabricated Environments.

Fungi are strongly affected by their physical environment. Microfabrication offers the possibility of creating new culture environments and ecosystems with defined characteristics. Here, we report the isolation of a novel member of the fungal genus Acremonium using a microengineered cultivation chip. This isolate was unusual in that it organizes into macroscopic structures when initially cultivated within microwells with a porous aluminum oxide (PAO) base. These "templated mycelial bundles" (TMB) were formed from masses of parallel hyphae with side branching suppressed. TMB were highly hydrated, facilitating the passive movement of solutes along the bundle. By using a range of culture chips, it was deduced that the critical factors in triggering the TMB were growth in microwells from 50 to 300 μm in diameter with a PAO base. Cultivation experiments, using spores and pigments as tracking agents, indicate that bulk growth of the TMB occurs at the base. TMB morphology is highly coherent and is maintained after growing out of the microwells. TMB can explore their environment by developing unbundled lateral hyphae; TMB only followed if nutrients were available. Because of the ease of fabricating numerous microstructures, we suggest this is a productive approach for exploring morphology and growth in multicellular microorganisms and microbial communities.

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#28750534   2017/07/28 Save this To Up

Functionalization-Free Microfluidic Electronic Tongue Based on a Single Response.

Electronic tongues (e-tongues) are promising analytical devices for a variety of applications to address the challenges of quality control in water monitoring and industries of foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals. A crucial drawback in the current e-tongues is the need to recalibrate the device when one or more sensing units (usually with modified surface) are replaced. Another downside is the necessity to perform subsequent surface modifications and analyses to each of the diverse sensing units, undermining the simplicity and velocity of the method. These features have prevented widespread commercial use of the e-tongues. In this paper, we introduce a microfluidic e-tongue that overcomes all such limitations. The key principle of global selectivity of the e-tongue was achieved by recording only a single response, namely, the equivalent admittance spectrum of an association of resistors in parallel. Such resistors consisted of five nonfunctionalized stainless steel microwires (sensing units), which were short-circuited and coated with gold, platinum, nickel, iron, and aluminum oxide films. The microwires were inserted in a chip composed of a single piece of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Using impedance spectroscopy, the e-tongue was successfully applied in classification of basic tastes at a concentration below the threshold for the human tongue. In addition, our chip allowed the distinction of various chemicals used in oil industry. Finally, our cleanroom-free prototyping allows the mass production of chips with easily replaceable and reproducible sensing units. Hence, one can now envisage the widespread dissemination of e-tongues with fast and reproducible data.

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#28438010   2017/04/25 Save this To Up

Study on Crystallographic Orientation Effect on Surface Generation of Aluminum in Nano-cutting.

The material characteristics such as size effect are one of the most important factors that could not be neglected in cutting the material at nanoscale. The effects of anisotropic nature of single crystal materials in nano-cutting are investigated employing the molecular dynamics simulation. Results show that the size effect of the plastic deformation is based on different plastic carriers, such as the twin, stacking faults, and dislocations. The minimum uncut chip thickness is dependent on cutting direction, where even a negative value is obtained when the cutting direction is {110}<001>. It also determines the material deformation and removal mechanism (e.g., shearing, extruding, and rubbing mechanism) with a decrease in uncut chip thickness. When material is deformed by shearing, the primary shearing zone expands from the stagnation point or the tip of stagnation zone. When a material is deformed by extruding and rubbing, the primary deformation zone almost parallels to the cutting direction and expands from the bottom of the cutting edge merging with the tertiary deformation zone. The generated surface quality relates to the crystallographic orientation and the minimum uncut chip thickness. The cutting directions of {110}<001>, {110}<1-10>, and {111}<1-10>, whose minimum uncut chip thickness is relatively small, have better surface qualities compared to the other cutting direction.

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#28406469   2017/04/13 Save this To Up

Easy-to-Fabricate and High-Sensitivity LSPR Type Specific Protein Detection Sensor Using AAO Nano-Pore Size Control.

In this study, we developed a pore size/pore area-controlled optical biosensor-based anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) nanostructure. As the pore size of AAO increases, the unit cell of AAO increases, which also increases the non-pore area to which the antibody binds. The increase in the number of antibodies immobilized on the surface of the AAO enables effective detection of trace amounts of antigen, because increased antigen-antibody bonding results in a larger surface refractive index change. High sensitivity was thus achieved through amplification of the interference wave of two vertically-incident reflected waves through the localized surface plasmon resonance phenomenon. The sensitivity of the fabricated sensor was evaluated by measuring the change in wavelength with the change in the refractive index of the device surface, and sensitivity was increased with increasing pore-size and non-pore area. The sensitivity of the fabricated sensor was improved and up to 11.8 ag/mL serum amyloid A1 antigen was detected. In addition, the selectivity of the fabricated sensor was confirmed through a reaction with a heterogeneous substance, C-reactive protein antigen. By using hard anodization during fabrication of the AAO, the fabrication time of the device was reduced and the AAO chip was fabricated quickly and easily.

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#28388496   2017/04/07 Save this To Up

Single-chip electron spin resonance detectors operating at 50GHz, 92GHz, and 146GHz.

We report on the design and characterization of single-chip electron spin resonance (ESR) detectors operating at 50GHz, 92GHz, and 146GHz. The core of the single-chip ESR detectors is an integrated LC-oscillator, formed by a single turn aluminum planar coil, a metal-oxide-metal capacitor, and two metal-oxide semiconductor field effect transistors used as negative resistance network. On the same chip, a second, nominally identical, LC-oscillator together with a mixer and an output buffer are also integrated. Thanks to the slightly asymmetric capacitance of the mixer inputs, a signal at a few hundreds of MHz is obtained at the output of the mixer. The mixer is used for frequency down-conversion, with the aim to obtain an output signal at a frequency easily manageable off-chip. The coil diameters are 120μm, 70μm, and 45μm for the U-band, W-band, and the D-band oscillators, respectively. The experimental frequency noises at 100kHz offset from the carrier are 90Hz/Hz(1/2), 300Hz/Hz(1/2), and 700Hz/Hz(1/2) at 300K, respectively. The ESR spectra are obtained by measuring the frequency variations of the single-chip oscillators as a function of the applied magnetic field. The experimental spin sensitivities, as measured with a sample of α,γ-bisdiphenylene-β-phenylallyl (BDPA)/benzene complex, are 1×10(8)spins/Hz(1/2), 4×10(7)spins/Hz(1/2), 2×10(7)spins/Hz(1/2) at 300K, respectively. We also show the possibility to perform experiments up to 360GHz by means of the higher harmonics in the microwave field produced by the integrated single-chip LC-oscillators.

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#28347948   2017/03/28 Save this To Up

Laser microfabrication of a microheater chip for cell culture outside a cell incubator.

Microfluidic chips have demonstrated their significant application potentials in microbiological processing and chemical reactions, with the goal of developing monolithic and compact chip-sized multifunctional systems. Heat generation and thermal control are critical in some of the biochemical processes. The paper presents a laser direct-write technique for rapid prototyping and manufacturing of microheater chips and its applicability for lab-on-a-chip cell culture outside a cell incubator. The aim of the microheater is to take the role of conventional incubators for cell culture for facilitating microscopic observation and/or other online monitoring activities during cell culture and provides portability of cell culture operation. Microheaters (5mm×5mm) have been successfully fabricated on soda-lime glass substrates covered with aluminium layer of thickness 120nm. Experimental results show that the microheaters exhibit good performance in temperature rise and decay characteristics, with localized heating at targeted spatial domains. These microheaters were suitable for a maximum long-term operation temperature of 120°C and validated for operation at 37°C for 48h. Results demonstrated that the microheaters are suitable for the culture of immortalised cell lines. The growth and viability of SW480 colon adenocarcinoma cells cultured the developed microheater chip were comparable to the results obtained in a conventional cell incubator.

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#28252391   2017/03/02 Save this To Up

Visualizing Epithelial Expression in Vertical and Horizontal Planes With Dual Axes Confocal Endomicroscope Using Compact Distal Scanner.

The epithelium is a thin layer of tissue that lines hollow organs, such as colon. Visualizing in vertical cross sections with sub-cellular resolution is essential to understanding early disease mechanisms that progress naturally in the plane perpendicular to the tissue surface. The dual axes confocal architecture collects optical sections in tissue by directing light at an angle incident to the surface using separate illumination and collection beams to reduce effects of scattering, enhance dynamic range, and increase imaging depth. This configuration allows for images to be collected in the vertical as well as horizontal planes. We designed a fast, compact monolithic scanner based on the principle of parametric resonance. The mirrors were fabricated using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology and were coated with aluminum to maximize near-infrared reflectivity. We achieved large axial displacements [Formula: see text] and wide lateral deflections >20°. The MEMS chip has a 3.2×2.9 mm(2) form factor that allows for efficient packaging in the distal end of an endomicroscope. Imaging can be performed in either the vertical or horizontal planes with [Formula: see text] depth or 1 ×1 mm(2) area, respectively, at 5 frames/s. We systemically administered a Cy5.5-labeled peptide that is specific for EGFR, and collected near-infrared fluorescence images ex vivo from pre-malignant mouse colonic epithelium to reveal the spatial distribution of this molecular target. Here, we demonstrate a novel scanning mechanism in a dual axes confocal endomicroscope that collects optical sections of near-infrared fluorescence in either vertical or horizontal planes to visualize molecular expression in the epithelium.

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#28244327   2017/02/28 Save this To Up

Ultrathin Alumina Membranes as Scaffold for Epithelial Cell Culture from the Intestine of Rainbow Trout.

Permeable membranes are indispensable for in vitro epithelial barrier models. However, currently available polymer-based membranes are low in porosity and relatively thick, resulting in a limited permeability and unrealistic culture conditions. In this study, we developed an ultrathin, nanoporous alumina membrane as novel cell culture interface for vertebrate cells, with focus on the rainbow trout (Onchorynchus mykiss) intestinal cell line RTgutGC. The new type of membrane is framed in a silicon chip for physical support and has a thickness of only 1 μm, with a porosity of 15% and homogeneous nanopores (Ø = 73 ± 21 nm). Permeability rates for small molecules, namely lucifer yellow, dextran 40, and bovine serum albumin, exceeded those of standard polyethylene terephthalate (PET) membranes by up to 27 fold. With the final goal to establish a representative model of the fish intestine for environmental toxicology, we engineered a simple culture setup, capable of testing the cellular response toward chemical exposure. Herein, cells were cultured in a monolayer on the alumina membranes and formed a polarized epithelium with apical expression of the tight junction protein ZO-1 within 14 days. Impedance spectroscopy, a noninvasive and real time electrical measurement, was used to determine cellular resistance during epithelial layer formation and chemical exposure to evaluate barrier functionality. Resistance values during epithelial development revealed different stages of epithelial maturity and were comparable with the in vivo situation. During chemical exposure, cellular resistance changed immediately when barrier tightness or cell viability was affected. Thus, our study demonstrates nanoporous alumina membranes as promising novel interface for alternative in vitro approaches, capable of allowing cell culture in a physiologically realistic manner and enabling high quality microscopy and sensitive measurement of cellular resistance.

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