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Microfluidics as a tool to understand the build-up mechanism of exponential-like growing films

: Madaboosi, N.; Uhlig, K.; Jäger, M.S.; Möhwald, H.; Duschl, C.; Volodkin, D.V.


Macromolecular rapid communications 33 (2012), No.20, pp.1775-1779
ISSN: 1022-1336
ISSN: 1521-3927
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

Microfluidics is used here for the first time to efficiently tune the growth conditions for understanding the build-up mechanism of exponentially growing polyelectrolyte (PE) films. The velocity of PE supply and time of interaction can be successfully altered during the layer-by-layer assembly. Another advantage of this method is that the deposition of poly-L-lysine/hyaluronic acid (PLL/HA) films in microchannels can be monitored online by fluorescence microscopy. The study demonstrates that PE mass transport to the film surface and diffusion in the film are key parameters affecting PLL/HA film build-up. Increase of PE supply rate results in a change in the transition (exponential-to-linear growth) towards higher number of deposition steps, thus indicating a mass transport-mediated growth mechanism.