Gecko Inspired Adhesive Microfluidic Channels


Description

Many adhesives require a liquid component, are one time use, or leave a residue upon removal.  These issues reduce the versatility of microfluidic channels and the breadth of their applications.

Researchers at the University of Alberta have developed an improved micro-electromechanical manufacturing technique that can more efficiently and cost effectively create a novel dry adhesive that utilizes van der Waals forces.[1]  The microstructures created have been inspired by and resemble the fibrillar structures found on the feet of geckos and certain spiders.  One of the benefits of this improved manufacturing technique is the ability to integrate microfluidic channels directly into the adhesive surface.[2]  The customizable shape and configuration of the fibers allows for optimization of adhesion direction or strength to suit the application.

[1]D. Sameoto, “Dry Adhesives for MEMS Assembly, Manipulation and Integration: Progress and Challenges,” ESC Trans. 2012 volume 45, issue 3. 515-528.

[2]A. Wasay, D. Sameoto, “’Geckofluidics’: a new concept in reversible bonding of microfluidic channels,” Hilton Head Workshop 2014: A Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems Workshop (available upon request).

Advantages

  • Can incorporate microfluidics channels directly into the adhesive
  • Exhibits a strong, reversible adhesive bond at and around the channel
  • Excels on smooth, hard, clean surfaces
  • Highly controllable adhesive properties such as directionality
  • Can maintain adhesion strength for long periods of time
  • May be used to scale up to dozens of square feet per individual mold

Potential Markets

Microfluidics, assembly, packaging, micromanipulation, microfabrication, robotics and fine automation, space applications, adhesives.

Protection Status

Patents Pending

Product Number

2012085, 2011133

Contact Information

Mandira Das
Technology Management Group
TEC Edmonton – University of Alberta
Phone: 780-492-9123
​Email: mandira.das@tecedmonton.com