An ultra-thin PDMS membrane as a bio/micro-nano interface: Fabrication and characterization

Abel L. Thangawng, Rodney S. Ruoff, Melody A. Swartz, Matthew R. Glucksberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


We report a method for making ultra-thin PDMS membrane devices. Freely suspended membranes as thin as 70 nm have been fabricated. Bulging tests were performed with a custom built fluidic cell to characterize large circular membranes. The fluidic cell allows the media (such as air or water) to wet one side of the membrane while maintaining the other side dry. Pressure was applied to the membrane via a liquid manometer through the fluidic cell. The resulting load-deflection curves show membranes that are extremely flexible, and they can be reproducibly loaded and unloaded. Such devices may potentially be used as mechanical and chemical sensors, and as a bio-nano/micro interface to study cellular mechanics in both static and dynamic environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-595
Number of pages9
JournalBiomedical Microdevices
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Bulging test
  • Microfabrication
  • PDMS membrane
  • Ultra sensitive membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology

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