Micromechanics of soft materials using microfluidics

Xu, Y 
Zhu, H 
Shen, Y 
Guttenplan, APM 
Saar, KL 

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jats:sec jats:titleAbstract</jats:title> jats:pMicron-scale soft materials are finding a wide range of applications in bioengineering and molecular medicine, while also increasingly emerging as useful components for consumer products. The mechanical characterization of such microscale soft objects is conventionally performed with techniques such as atomic force microscopy or micropipette aspiration that measure the local properties of micron scale objects in a serial manner. To permit scalable characterization of the global mechanical properties of soft microscale objects, we developed and describe here a microfluidic platform that can be used for performing parallelized integrated measurements of the shear modulus of individual microscale particles. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach by characterizing the mechanical properties of multiple protein microgels in parallel, and show that the obtained values are in good agreement with conventional serial measurements. This platform allows parallelized jats:italicin situ</jats:italic> measurements of the mechanical properties of soft deformable micron-scale particles, and builds on scalable single-layer soft-photolithography fabrication, making the measurement system readily adaptable for a range of potential applications.</jats:p> </jats:sec>jats:sec jats:titleGraphical Abstract</jats:title>


Publication Date
Online Publication Date
Acceptance Date
40 Engineering, 4016 Materials Engineering, Bioengineering
Journal Title
MRS Bulletin
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
European Research Council (337969)