A Rapid Prototyping and Mass-Production Platform of Microfluidic Devices
P. Craig Kung, Y.L. Kung, D. Holcombe, R.H. Grace, G. Ungelenk, E. Piechotka and W. Seiferth
Optotrack, Inc., US
microfluidics, embossing, plastic wafers, prototyping, bonding, precision
Microfluidic chips, disposable biosensors, and micro-optical devices have been primarily manufactured from silicon- or glass-based substrates for years. This approach involves sophisticated production tools, tedious development processes, and clean-room conditions. Given today’s fierce competition in the global marketplace, alternatives have to be implemented to achieve low cost, quick turn-around, and high product quality. Although soft lithography has been used as an alternative to silicon and glass photolithography, soft materials tend to swell in organic solvents, leading to a potential problem of device failure. Therefore, in the present study we have developed a proprietary rapid prototyping platform to address the above issues. Multiple microfluidic devices are first embossed in a 5-inch or 6-inch plastic wafer. The wafer is then bonded, diced, inserted with input and output channels. The plastic chips fabricated by the present technology have been used by a pharmaceutical company in fluorescent detection systems for drug discovery research. It is estimated that from conception to mass production, our platform takes 50% less time and cost than competing technologies. As such, case studies will be presented to demonstrate the significance of the developed platform to microtechnology and how the platform may change the nature of competition in the biotechnology industry.
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Nanotech 2007 Conference Program Abstract