Scharnweber T, Truckenmüller R, Schneider AM, Welle A, Reinhardt M, and Giselbrecht S
Lab On A Chip [Lab Chip] 2011 Apr 07; Vol. 11 (7), pp. 1368-71. Date of Electronic Publication: 2011 Feb 16.
Photolysis, Time Factors, Dimethylpolysiloxanes chemistry, Microtechnology methods, Printing methods, and Ultraviolet Rays
Microstructuring of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is a key step for many lab-on-a-chip (LOC) applications. In general, the structure is generated by casting the liquid prepolymer against a master. The production of the master in turn calls for special equipment and know how. Furthermore, a given master only allows the reproduction of the defined structure. We report on a simple, cheap and practical method to produce microstructures in already cured PDMS by direct UV-lithography followed by chemical development. Due to the available options during the lithographic process like multiple exposures, the method offers a high design flexibility granting easy access to complex and stepped structures. Furthermore, no master is needed and the use of pre-cured PDMS allows processing at ambient (light) conditions. Features down to approximately 5 µm and a depth of 10 µm can be realised. As a proof of principle, we demonstrate the feasibility of the process by applying the structures to various established soft lithography techniques.
Particle manipulation based on dielectrophoresis (DEP) can be a versatile and useful tool in lab-on-chip systems for a wide range of cell patterning and tissue engineering applications. Even though there are extensive reports on the use of DEP for cell patterning applications, the development of approaches that make DEP even more affordable and common place is still desirable. In this study, we present the use of interdigitated electrodes on a printed circuit board (PCB) that can be reused to manipulate and position HeLa cells and polystyrene particles over 100 microm thick glass cover slips using DEP. An open-well or a closed microfluidic channel, both made of PDMS, was placed on the glass coverslip, which was then placed directly over the PCB. An AC voltage was applied to the electrodes on the PCB to induce DEP on the particles through the thin glass coverslip. The HeLa cells patterned with DEP were subsequently grown to confirm the lack of any adverse affects from the electric fields. This alternative and reusable platform for DEP particle manipulation can provide a convenient and rapid method for prototyping a DEP-based lab-on-chip system, cost-sensitive lab-on-chip applications, and a wide range of tissue engineering applications.
With the major advances in soft lithography and polymer materials, use of microfluidic devices has attracted tremendous attention recently. A simple and fast micromachining process is highly in demand to prototype such a device efficiently and economically. In this paper, we first reported an out-of-cleanroom printing-based integrated microfabrication process, referred to as the lab-on-a-print (LOP), for rapid-prototyping three-dimensional microfluidics. Using this lab-on-a-print process, we demonstrated the potential to accomplish an entire design-to-fabrication cycle within an hour, including about 70 microm resolution of direct-lithography patterning, well-controlled polyimide wet etching, three-dimensional pattern alignment and multilayer wax thermal-fusion packaging. A microfluidic gradient generator was prepared and tested for validation of the lab-on-a-print microfabrication process.
Lab On A Chip [Lab Chip] 2006 Feb; Vol. 6 (2), pp. 310-5. Date of Electronic Publication: 2006 Jan 04.
Equipment Design, Electrons, Microfluidic Analytical Techniques instrumentation, and Printing instrumentation
We present two fast and generic methods for the fabrication of polymeric microfluidic systems using electron beam lithography: one that employs spatially varying electron-beam energy to expose to different depths a negative electron-beam resist, and another that employs a spatially varying electron-beam dose to differentially expose a bi-layer resist structure. Using these methods, we demonstrate the fabrication of various microfluidic unit structures such as microchannels of a range of geometries and also other more complex structures such as a synthetic gel and a chaotic mixer. These are made without using any separate bonding or sacrificial layer patterning and etching steps. The schemes are inherently simple and scalable, afford high resolution without compromising on speed and allow post CMOS fabrication of microfluidics. We expect them to prove very useful for the rapid prototyping of complete integrated micro/nanofluidic systems with sense and control electronics fabricated by upstream processes.