Smart Materials for Sensing and Actuation

Traditional approaches for the fabrication of integrated systems involve tremendous downscale of conventional devices, and their assembly level by level to achieve the desired functionalities. Recent investigations in material science are opening new avenues to generate devices, with integrated smart functionalities (sensing & actuation) and controlled chemical release, that overpass existing technologies. The incorporation of stimuli-responsive materials into devices to obtain simple and highly controllable integrated components is a challenge, which needs the collaboration of different disciplines of science, such as chemistry, biology and engineer.

We are working in the integration of stimuli responsive materials into microfluidic platforms to act as sensors and actuators. Specifically we work on:

1- Integration of plasmonic nanosensors based on metal nanoparticles, biosensors based on antibody inmobilization and other novel optical sensing strategies.

2- Stimuli-responsive materials able to undergo volumetric changes in response to physical and chemical changes in their local environment.

3- Integration of valves in microfluidic devices for flow control.

4- Integration of smart materials in microfluidic devices for sensing applications.

5- Magnetic material, actuators.

(A) paper microfluidic with integrated hydrogel valve. (B) Centrifugal microfluidic with integrated light-actuating ionogel microvalve. (C) In-situ generating and removal of alginated microvalves in microfluidic device.

Most Relevant Group Publications

AZO Embedded IDEs for Monitoring Stimuli Responsive Materials, N. Gil-González, C. Q. Chen, T. Akyazi, A. Zuzuarregui, A. Rodriguez, M. Knez, E. Castaño, F. Benito-Lopez, M. C. Morant-Miñana*, Adv. Funct. Mat. 2018, 28, 1803127

Light-responsive Materials for Microfluidic Applications, J. ter Schiphorst, J. Saez, D. Diamond, F. Benito Lopez,*A. Schenning,* Lab Chip, 2018, 18, 699-709.

Driving Flows in Microfluidic Paper-Based Analytical Devices with a Cholinium Based Poly Ionic Liquid Hydrogel, T. Akyazi, A. Tudor, D. Diamond, L. Basabe-Desmonts, L. Florea, F. Benito-Lopez,* Sens. Actuators B, 2018, 261, 372-378.

On-demand Generation and Removal of Alginate Biocompatible Microvalves for Flow Control in Microfluidics, J. Saez, J. Etxebarria, M. Antoñana-Diez, F. Benito-Lopez,* 2016, Sens. Actuators, 234, 1-7.