Announcements - Lab-on-a-chip
We used a B9Creator 3D printer and a soft polymer Spot-E elastic. We made 4 iterations of a simple design (see them on 3DWarehouse, and Thingiverse). The main goal is to estimate the potential of 3D printers in lab-on-a-chip prototyping. The channels are only 200 microns wide and 100 microns deep.
Usually, microfluidic devices are made of PDMS with a glass cover on top. The PDMS is patterned using a master silicon wafer, which itself is patterned using VERY expensive techniques (chemical etching, laser and ion beam ablation, etc.), requiring clean rooms and highly skilled individuals. A one-step 3D printing method for prototyping would dramatically reduce the development costs and time. For example, we had 4 iterations of the same design within only 2 hours, based on feedback from water-based fluid propagation tests as seen in the video below.
Problems with this first trial: some linkage outside of the channel due to surface imperfections. We are now trying thermal post-treatment, chemical post-treatment, and new mechanical designs with better seals.
We believe that 3D printing has the potential to bring lab-on-a-chip in everyone's garage or to a fab lab near you.
NOTE: we are also launching a project for a micro 3D printer, contact us to know more or to get involved.
Open doc to edit (members only)
There is definitely growing interest around our project on open source lab-on-a-chip technology. We are now having serious discussions about creating a SENSORICA local network in Asia, which would interface with the SENSORICA Montreal local network. At this point, the Montreal network is focused on putting together academic resources, to build a strong R&D cluster. The Asian network is focused more on applications, defining requirements, testing of new prototypes and deployment (market) of the technology.