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4 March 2019 Multifunctional microfluidic devices from tailored photopolymer formulations
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Here, we demonstrate the additive manufacturing of two key microvalve designs, namely Nordin’s and Quake’s microvalves, based on a formulation consisting of tri(propylene glycol) diacrylate (TPGDA) as a base material, diphenyl(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl) phosphine oxide (TPO) as a photoinitiator and Sudan1 as the UV-absorber via micro-stereolithography (μSL). Mechanical measurements of test prints show an average Young’s modulus of 15.7 MPa, which is eight times lower compared to several previous studies on 3D-printed microvalves and micropumps based on poly(ethylene glycol diacrylate) 255 (PEGDA-252). We use a high-resolution Cerafab7500 printer (Lithoz GmbH, Vienna) with a minimal lateral resolution of 10.3 μm to print membrane valves with voxel dimensions down to 60μm. Particularly, we study the effect of different comonomers added to the photopolymer formulation – neopentyl glycol propoxylate (1 PO/OH) diacrylate (NPGPDA), 1,6- hexanediol diacrylate (HDDA) and 2-phenoxyethyl acrylate (POEA) – on the layer thickness, which is identified to be a crucial parameter. 3D-printed valves are tested regarding maximum operating pressure withstanding pressures of up to 5 bar. We show that TPGDA-based resins combine high flexibility, mechanical stability, and sufficient resolution for the future design of flow control units in microfluidics.
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Max J. Männel, Niclas Weigel, and Julian Thiele "Multifunctional microfluidic devices from tailored photopolymer formulations", Proc. SPIE 10875, Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XVII, 1087507 (4 March 2019);

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