Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

, 20:126 | Cite as

Novel prototyping method for microfluidic devices based on thermoplastic polyurethane microcapillary film

  • Zheyun Xu
  • Feng Jiang
  • Zhongbin XuEmail author
  • Haoyan Xu
  • Xiaodong RuanEmail author
Research Paper


Thermoplastic polyurethane microcapillary film (TPU-MCF), as a novel extruded product, inherently contains an array of circular micron-sized capillaries embedded inside the polymer matrix. With the aid of simple laser cutting and conventional sealing technologies, a rapid prototyping method for microfluidic devices is proposed based on the ready-made microstructure of MCFs. Two functionalized microfluidic devices: serpentine micromixer and multi-droplet generator, are rapidly fabricated to demonstrate the advantages and potential of employing this new method. The whole proof-of-concept fabrication process can be completed in 8–10 min in a simple way; each procedure is repeatable with stable performance control of microfluidic devices; and the material cost can be as low as $0.01 for each device. The TPU-MCF and this novel method are expected to provide a new perspective and alternative in microfluidic community with particular requirements.


Microcapillary film Prototyping method Microfluidic devices Micromixer Droplet generator 



Financial support was provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51373153) and the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2015CB057301); we also express our attitude to Tao Xie for providing laser cutter and Tiefeng Li for providing VHB tapes.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10404_2016_1784_MOESM1_ESM.doc (6.6 mb)
Online Resource 1 (DOC 6711 kb)

Online Resource 2 (WMV 2350 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering and Biochemical Engineering, Institute of Process EquipmentZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Faculty of Information TechnologyZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  3. 3.The State Key Laboratory of Fluid Power Transmission and ControlZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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