Soft Matter Café by Anton Popov
One of the relevant topics nowadays is an applied science direction called microfluidics. As wide as the field of application of microfluidic devices is, there are just as many manufacturing methods, but not all of them are fast, accessible and cheap. Our task is to create a simple and inexpensive experimental microfluidic device and sample environment. For the development of X-ray beamlines sample environment and experiments carried out, single products with a specific design are needed. Thus, rapid prototyping methods, which allow creating a device within one day, and if necessary quickly modify it, are in high demand. So now, I turned to one of the additive technologies elements – 3D printing, to develop and createmicrofluidic devices in a format that is suitable for mounting on the micro diffractometers installed on the ESRF’s MX beamlines, is compatible with the Sample Exposure Unit for BioSAXS, and is suitable for carrying out in-chip experiments on other soft matter samples.
About the speaker: After getting his master of engineering diploma at Moscow Power Engineering Institute (Technical University) in 2009, Anton started his work as a research engineer in the Department of Applied Nanotechnology at the Kurchatov Center for Synchrotron Radiation and Nanotechnology (National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute). In this department, he was working on different topics, like microscopy, superconductivity, microelectronics, additive manufacturing, microfluidics using different lab equipment and got his scientist position. In March 2019, Anton defended his Ph.D. thesis on the topic “Microfluidic devices for studying the structure of proteins and the mechanisms of their crystallization at a synchrotron radiation source” in the field “Devices and methods of experimental physics”. He was developing a production string that would make it possible to build up, quick and cheap, microfluidic devices for conducting experiments using both a laboratory and a synchrotron. The main demand has arisen in the field of Life sciences. Starting May 2019, Anton continued his scientific work as a post-doctoral fellow at the ESRF, in the Department of Structural Biology, where they, in collaboration with PSCM, develop microfluidics.