This paper reports an innovative technique for reagents storage in microfluidic devices by means of a one-step UV-photoprintable ionogel-based microarray on non-modified polymeric substrates. Although the ionogel and the ink-jet printing technology are well published, this is the first study where both are used for long-term reagent storage in lab-on-a-chip devices. This technology for reagent storage is perfectly compatible with mass production fabrication processes since pre-treatment of the device substrate is not necessary and inkjet printing allows for an efficient reagent deposition process. The functionality of this microarray is demonstrated by testing the release of biotin-647 after being stored for 1 month at room temperature. Analysis of the fluorescence of the ionogel-based microarray that contains biotin-647 demonstrated that 90% of the biotin-647 present was released from the ionogel-based microarray after pumping PBS 0.1% Tween at 37 °C. Moreover, the activity of biotin-647 after being released from the ionogel-based microarray was investigated trough the binding capability of this biotin to a microcontact printed chip surface with avidin. These findings pave the way for a novel, one-step, cheap and mass production on-chip reagents storage method applicable to other reagents such as antibodies and proteins and enzymes.

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