We report on the photopatterning of single carbon nanotube composites with soft hydrogel polymers in glass microchannels. Since the hydrogels by themselves are able to withstand liquid flow within the microchannels, we covalently combined them with single-walled carbon nanotubes to impart mechanical strength. We attempted this approach by patterning the gels within the microchannels without prior surface modifications. Our results show that the 1-cm nanocomposite hydrogels are far stronger than the free hydrogels. Moreover, the nanocomposites were able to concentrate and separate proteins within a 1.5-cm distance using gel-free buffers. The separation cannot only be tuned by changing the running buffer; the lack of gels in the running buffer reduces the chance of channel blockage and thus the lifetime of the device is prolonged. The usefillness of the patterned nanocomposites may be extended by a wide selection of nanocomposite properties and monomers to find a broad range of applications in lab-on-chip technology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Clinical Biochemistry