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Micro-machined syringe chip for cell penetration

Result description: In task 3.2 partner Fraunhofer-IBMT has developed a micro-machined syringe chip to be used as a cell injection tool. A detailed description of the chip can be found in deliverable D3-04.

The microfluidic SyringeChip monolithically integrates a micro needle, a thermo pneumatic micro pump connected to this needle, and a sensor. The dimensions of the chip are 2.2 x 2.2 x 1mm3. The micro needle as well as the area around the micro needle is made of translucent materials (silicon dioxide, glass). This allows the observation of the cell injection procedure through the translucent chip (if requested). Filling of the chip is done by simply dipping the needle into the fluid to be injected. In contrast to commercially available injection systems the size of connecting tube and pump of the IBMT chip is adapted to the volume to be injected. Once filled, the chip can be used to perform several hundreds of injections. The injection volume can be adjusted and controlled very precisely. Power consumption of the SyringeChip is less than 2mW for up to 2pl injection liquid. The integrated actuator (micro pump) can be controlled by a PID-controller or even by a Pulse-Width-Modulated signal. The realised micro-needle has an outer tip diameter of 2µm and a length of 25µm.

To be able to produce such tiny hollow needles a new plasma etching process has been developed. This process is able to produce needle shapes with tip diameters of even less than 2µm. The actuator is based on a low power consuming membrane-less thermopneumatic working principle, allowing to control very small fluid flows (» 0,2pl) through the needle. The used silicon processes are able to fabricate many SyringeChips in parallel.

Dissemination and use potential:
Three papers covering communication aspects of MICRON-research have been presented during scientific conferences. Additionally, the syringe chip has been presented at Biotechnica Exhibition, Hannover, Germany in 2003 and in 2005. In 2005 the syringe chip has also been presented at MEDICA Exhibition in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Scientific publications:
TAGLIARENI, F.; STADELBAUER, B.; TAHREEM, S.A.; VELTEN, T.: A microfluidic SyringeChip for Microinjection with integrated Actuator. In: Proc. of Int. Conf. Micro.tec. Munchen, Oktober 2003, S. 141-146

TAGLIARENI, F.; VELTEN, T.: Microfabrication of a microfluidic SyringeChip with integrated Actuator. In: Proc. of IEEE Int. Conf. Mechatronics & Robotics. Aachen, September 2004, S. 173-177

TAGLIARENI, F.; NIERLICH, M.; STEINMETZ, O.; VELTEN, T.; BRUFAU, J.; LOPEZ-SANCHEZ, J.; PUIG-VIDAL, M.; SAMITIER, J.: Manipulating biological cells with a micro-robot cluster. In: Proc. of the Int. IEEE Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS). Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 2005, S. 426-431.

Key innovative features:
They key innovation is to integrate micro needle, micro pump and all tubings on one tiny chip. This allows making the injection equipment very cheap. Additionally, the injection of tiny amounts of liquid becomes more reliable and reproducible because long and flexible tubings are avoided. The integrated sensor additionally adds to the reproducibility of the injection volume. This is a big step towards automated cell injections.

Current status and use of the result:
At the moment the developed syringe chip is used as a tool for micro robots. As an alternative to the use of the micron robots the syringe chip can be used with commercially available micromanipulators like the MM3a from Kleindiek Nanotechnik, Germany. It has been shown that the developed syringe chip together with the MM3a manipulator is able to perform cell injections. Diacetylfluorescein has been successfully injected into L-929 and HL-60 cells.

Expected benefit:
The developed microinjection chip has the potential to become a cheap alternative to cell injection equipment used nowadays. It is cheap and allows injecting tiny amounts of liquid in an accurate and reproducible manner. This is a big step towards automated cell injections.

Informazioni correlate

Reported by

Fraunhofer-Institute for Biomedical Engineering
Ensheimer strasse 48
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