, Volume 13, Issue 3-4, pp 231-235
Date: 11 Jul 2006

High aspect ratio tapered hollow metallic microneedle arrays with microfluidic interconnector

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We present a novel microfabrication method for a tapered hollow metallic microneedle array and its complete microfluidic packaging for drug delivery and body fluid sampling applications. Backside exposure of SU-8 through a UV transparent substrate was investigated as a means of fabricating a dense array of tall (up to 400 μm) uniformly tapered SU-8 pillar structures with angles in the range of 3.1–5° on top of the SU-8 mesa. Conformal electroplating of metals on top of the array of the tapered SU-8 pillars, lapping of the tip of the metallic microneedles with planarizing polymer, and removal of the SU-8 sacrificial layers resulted in an array of tapered hollow metallic microneedles with a fluidic reservoir on the backside. A microfluidic interconnector assembly was designed and fabricated using SU-8 and conventionally machined PMMA in a way that it has a male interconnector, which directly fits into the fluidic reservoir of the microneedle array at one end and the other male interconnector, which provides fluidic interconnection to external devices at the other end. The fluid flow rate was measured and it showed 0.69 μL/s. per microneedle when the pressure of 6.89 KPa (1 psi) was applied.