UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

MEMS-based anti-biofouling - mechanism, devices and application Yeh, Po Ying


A novel anti-biofouling mechanism based on the combined effects of electric field and shear stress was reported. The mechanism was observed in millimeter-scale piezoelectric plates coated with different metal materials and microfabricated Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) devices. Experimental observation on the quantities of protein desorption and theoretical calculations on surface interactions (van der Waals, electrostatic, hydrophobic, shear stress) have been carried out. This anti-fouling mechanism can also be activated by a vibrating micromachined Si/SiO₂ membrane. The combined effect of polyethylene glycol (PEG) grafting and application of vibration on attenuation of protein adsorption was also investigated. Vibrating PEG-grafted surfaces significantly attenuate protein adsorption, especially at low PEG grafting densities. Polymer steric interaction dominates over vibration interaction with protein on surfaces with high PEG grafting densities. Monothiol-functionalized hyperbranched polyglycidols (HPG-SH) were synthesized and self-assembled on the gold surface. The characteristics of the polymer were studied and compared with linear PEG using various surface analysis techniques. This hyperbranched polyglycidol is more resistant to protein adsorption than is linear PEG of similar molecular weight. In addition, higher molecular weight HPG shows less protein adsorption than does lower molecular weight HPG. The hyperbranched polyglycidols (without a thiol group) were further modified to generate functionality for microchannel-based liquid chromatography applications. The microchannel surface was first amino modified by allylamine plasma, and amino groups then reacted with N-hydroxy succinimide-functionalized HPGs to form strong amide bonds. The grafted HPGs are resistant to nonspecific protein adsorption. The succinimidyl ester groups degrade in water to form carboxyl groups on HPGs. By giving extra carboxyl groups to each HPG, the HPG can selectively capture positive avidin from a mixture of avidin and bovine serum albumin (BSA). To increase the capture efficiency, the microchannel was integrated with micropillar arrays as the liquid chromatography column.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International