Rapid prototyping of single-layer microfluidic PDMS devices with abrupt depth variations under non-clean-room conditions by using laser ablation and UV-curable polymer


The growing demand for microfluidic analytical devices calls for fast, cost-effective and high-throughput fabrication methods. Here we report a low-cost rapid prototyping method for single-layer microfluidic PDMS devices with abrupt depth variations under non-clean-room conditions. Channel patterns with different user-designed depths ranging from micrometres to millimetres are engraved on a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) plate in one step based on a laser ablation approach. A UV-curable polymer, Norland Optical Adhesive (NOA) 81, is then used to replicate the channel patterns from the PMMA female mould and is finally used as the master for single-layer polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic devices. This rapid prototyping method can significantly facilitate the fast evaluation of proof of concept in microfluidic researches and small-scale mass production for commercialization applications.

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The work is supported by the Ministry of Education, Singapore, under Academic Research Fund (AcRF) Tier 1 Grant No. RG97/13 and RG80/15.

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Correspondence to Zhibin Yan.

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Yan, Z., Huang, X. & Yang, C. Rapid prototyping of single-layer microfluidic PDMS devices with abrupt depth variations under non-clean-room conditions by using laser ablation and UV-curable polymer. Microfluid Nanofluid 21, 108 (2017).

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  • Microfluidics
  • Microfabrication
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Single-layer PDMS
  • Laser ablation
  • UV-curable polymer