Surface and interface functionalization are crucial steps to introduce new functionalities in numerous applications, as faster dynamics occur on surfaces rather than bulk. Within this context, the layer-by-layer (LbL) technique is a versatile methodology to controllably form organized nanostructures from the spontaneous adsorption of charged molecules. It enables the assembly of multilayered LbL films on virtually any surface using non-covalent molecular interactions, allowing the nanoengineering of interfaces and creation of multifunctional systems with distinct building blocks (polymers, clays, metal nanoparticles, enzymes, organic macromolecules, etc.). Several applications require thin films on electrodes for sensing/biosensing, and here we explore LbL films deposited on interdigitated electrodes (IDEs) that were 3D-printed using the fusing deposition modeling (FDM) technique. IDEs covered with LbL films can be used to form multisensory systems employed in the analysis of complex liquids transforming raw data into specific patterns easily recognized by computational and statistical methods. We extend the FDM 3D-printing methodology to simplify the manufacturing of electrodes and microchannels, thus integrating an e-tongue system in a microfluidic device. Moreover, the continuous flow within microchannels contributes to faster and more accurate analysis, reducing the amount of sample, waste, and costs.
Part of the book: Multilayer Thin Films