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A Microcantilever-Based Picoliter Droplet Dispenser With Integrated Force Sensors and Electroassisted Deposition Means

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6 Author(s)
Leichle, T. ; Centre Nat. de la Rech. Sci., Lab. d''Analyse et d''Archit. des Syst., Toulouse ; Lishchynska, M. ; Mathieu, F. ; Pourciel, J.-B.
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This paper introduces a picoliter droplet dispenser relying on an array of silicon microcantilevers. The microcantilevers bear fluidic channels, and liquid transfer is achieved by a direct contact of the cantilever tip and the surface. A high degree of control over the location and geometry of the fabricated patterns is ensured by incorporating force sensors and electroassisted deposition means, i.e., electrowetting actuation and electrospotting, to the devices. The cantilever array, a PC-controlled stage, and an electronic circuit dedicated to the piezoresistance measurements form a closed-loop system that enables the automatic displacement of the array and the control of the deposition parameters. By using an external loading chip, different liquids are loaded onto the cantilevers, enabling the parallel deposition of several entities in a single spotting run. This paper details the design of the cantilevers assisted by finite-element modeling, the fabrication of the cantilever array, and the closed-loop operation. Moreover, proof-of-concept experiments are presented to demonstrate the versatility of our deposition system in terms of deposited materials and spot sizes. The control of the spotting process, the versatility of the printed materials, and the added electroassisted features prove that this tool has a real potential for research work and industrial applications.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 5 )