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Emerging Technologies 2018 Session Listing

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Session D4: Biotechnology

Start Time: 09:00, Friday, May 11
Room: Diamond Head
Chaired by Chair to be Announced

  • 9:00 Edmond W.K. Young, University of Toronto (

    Transitioning biomicrofluidic systems from PDMS to plastics

    Cell-based microfluidic systems have emerged as important experimental tools in cell biology research because of their ability to mimic various aspects of the in vivo tissue microenvironments and be employed as different functional cell-based assays. Poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) is the most commonly used material for fabricating microfluidic devices, but it has previously been shown to absorb hydrophobic molecules and leach uncrosslinked oligomers. In contrast, thermoplastics are widely used in laboratory cultureware, but have faced challenges in being widely adopted for microfluidics because of a lack of simple methods to fabricate thermoplastic devices.


    To address this challenge, our research group has developed a selection of simple and accessible methods for fabricating cell-based microfluidic devices in thermoplastics. Methods include micromilling, hot embossing, and liquid-phase solvent bonding that are effective for various plastics commonly used for microfluidic devices such as polystyrene, acrylic, and cyclo-olefin polymers (COPs). Here, we describe the development of these thermoplastic microfabrication methods, compare and contrast the functional differences between plastic and PDMS devices in a cell biology context, and demonstrate advantages of plastic microfluidic systems in two separate biomedical applications, one for drug sensitivity testing in multiple myeloma, and one for studying biology of lung airways. These applications will offer concrete examples of how certain microfluidics applications can benefit from a transition away from PDMS and towards plastics.

  • 9:20 Takashi Tokuda, NAIST ( with M. Haruta, T. Noda, K. Sasagawa and J. Ohta

    CMOS-based implantable optogenetic neural interfacing devices

    A flexible optoelectronic neural stimulation / measurement device with integrated CMOS technology is presented. The device is equipped with multiple blue LEDs for optical stimulation and neural electrodes for electric neural stimulation / measurement. The device is designed based on multi-chip architecture in which we integrate multiple CMOS chips that cooperatively control multiple LEDs and electrodes with small number of I/O lines. We realized two-dimensional signal distribution with the multiple CMOS chips. This architecture is advantageous not only to reduce the I/O lines, but also the for the physical flexibility of the device. Combination of small-sized rigid neural stimulators equipped with CMOS chips and flexible bridge structures, we can realize various configuration to fit specific applications.

  • 9:40 Fabio Cicoira, École Polytechnique de Montréal (

    Conducting polymers for flexible, stretchable and healable electronics

    Organic electronics, based on semiconducting and conducting polymers, have been extensively investigated in the past two decades and have found commercial applications in lighting panels, smartphone screens, and TV screens using organic light emitting diodes technology. Many other applications are foreseen to reach the commercial maturity in future in areas such as transistors, sensors and photovoltaics.


    Organic electronic devices, apart from consumer applications, are paving the path for key applications at the interface between electronics and biology. In such applications, organic polymers are very attractive candidates, due to their distinct properties of mechanical flexibility, self-healing and mixed conduction, i.e the ability to transport both electron/holes and ionic species.


    My group investigated the processing conditions leading to high electrical conductivity, long-term stability in aqueous media as well as robust mechanical properties of the conducting polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) doped with polystyrenesulfonate (PEDOT:PSS), on rigid, flexible and stretchable substrates [1-3]. We have demonstrated that stretchable PEDOT:PSS films can be achieved by adding a fluorosurfactant to the film processing mixture and by pre-stretching the substrate during film deposition. We have achieved patterning of organic materials on a wide range of substrates, using orthogonal lithography, parylene patterning and pattern transfer [4-5]. Recently we have discovered that PEDOT:PSS films can be rapidly healed with water drops after being damaged with a sharp blade [6].


    My talk will deal with processing, characterization and patterning of conducting polymer films and devices for flexible, stretchable and healable electronics. I will particularly focus on the strategies to achieve films with optimized electrical conductivity and mechanical properties, on unconventional micro patterning on flexible and stretchable substrates, on the different routes to achieve films stretchability and self-healing.


    1. F. Cicoira et al. APL Mat. 3, 014911, 2015. 2. F. Cicoira et al. Appl. Phys. Lett. 107,053303, 2015. 3. F. Cicoira, et al. Appl. Phys. Lett. 111, 093701, 2017 4. F. Cicoira et al. Chem. Mater. 29, 3126-3132, 2017. 5. F. Cicoira et al. J. Mater. Chem. C 4, 1382—85, 2016. 6. F. Cicoira et al. Adv. Mater. 29, 1703098, 2017.

  • 10:00 Massimo De Vittorio, Università del Salento (

    Thin flexible piezoelectrics for health and energy

  • 10:20 Paul Li, Simon Fraser University (

    Microfluidic nanotechnology for analyzing proteins, nucleic acids and cells in biological samples

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