Sandia is exploring two classes of integrated systems involving bioactive materials: 1) microfluidic systems that can be used to manipulate biomolecules for applications ranging from counter-terrorism to drug delivery systems, and 2) fluidic systems in which active biomolecules such as motor proteins provide specific functions
such as active transport. An example of the first class involves the development of a reversible protein trap based on the integration of the thermally-switchable polymer poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)(PNIPAM) into a micro-hotplate device. To exemplify the second class, we describe the technical challenges associated with integrating microtubules and motor proteins into microfluidic systems for: 1) the active transport of nanoparticle cargo, or 2) templated growth of high-aspect ratio nanowires. These examples illustrate the
functions of bioactive materials, synthesis and fabrication issues, mechanisms for switching surface chemistry and active transport, and new techniques such as the interfacial force microscope (IFM) that can be used to characterize bioactive surfaces.