17 February 2017 Fabrication and assembling of a microfluidic optical stretcher polymeric chip combining femtosecond laser and micro injection molding technologies
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Abstract
Microfluidic optical stretchers are valuable optofluidic devices for studying single cell mechanical properties. These usually consist of a single microfluidic channel where cells, with dimensions ranging from 5 to 20 μm are trapped and manipulated through optical forces induced by two counter-propagating laser beams. Recently, monolithic optical stretchers have been directly fabricated in fused silica by femtosecond laser micromachining (FLM). Such a technology allows writing in a single step in the substrate volume both the microfluidic channel and the optical waveguides with a high degree of precision and flexibility. However, this method is very slow and cannot be applied to cheaper materials like polymers. Therefore, novel technological platforms are needed to boost the production of such devices on a mass scale.

In this work, we propose integration of FLM with micro-injection moulding (μIM) as a novel route towards the cost-effective and flexible manufacturing of polymeric Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) devices. In particular, we have fabricated and assembled a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) microfluidic optical stretcher by exploiting firstly FLM to manufacture a metallic mould prototype with reconfigurable inserts. Afterwards, such mould was employed for the production, through μIM, of the two PMMA thin plates composing the device. The microchannel with reservoirs and lodgings for the optical fibers delivering the laser radiation for cell trapping were reproduced on one plate, while the other included access holes to the channel. The device was assembled by direct fs-laser welding, ensuring sealing of the channel and avoiding thermal deformation and/or contamination.
Conference Presentation
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Annalisa Volpe, Antonio Ancona, Gianluca Trotta, Rebeca Martínez Vázquez, Irene Fassi, Roberto Osellame, "Fabrication and assembling of a microfluidic optical stretcher polymeric chip combining femtosecond laser and micro injection molding technologies", Proc. SPIE 10092, Laser-based Micro- and Nanoprocessing XI, 100920F (17 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2251372; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2251372
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