13 March 2013 Selecting and designing with the right thermoplastic polymer for your microfluidic chip: a close look into cyclo-olefin polymer
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Abstract
Engineers who are developing microfluidic devices and bioMEMs for life science applications have many aspects to consider when selecting the proper base materials for constructing a device. While glass and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) are the staple materials for proof-of-concept and prototype chip fabrication, they are not a feasible solution for commercial production due to their slow, labor-intensive production rate. Alternatively, a molded or extruded thermoplastic solution can deliver the precision, consistency, and high volume capability required for commercial scale production. Traditional thermoplastics, such as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), polycarbonate (PC), and polystyrene (PS), are well known by development engineers in the bioscience community; however, cyclo-olefin polymer (COP), a relative newcomer in the world of plastics, is gaining increasing attention for use in microfluidic devices due to its unique balance of key properties compared to conventional thermoplastics. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive look at the properties which make COP an excellent candidate for providing the flow cell support and reagent storage functions in microfluidic assays. We also explore the processing attributes and capabilities of COP resin and film which are crucial for manufacturing high-performance microfluidic devices.
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Mark Nevitt, "Selecting and designing with the right thermoplastic polymer for your microfluidic chip: a close look into cyclo-olefin polymer", Proc. SPIE 8615, Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XI, 86150F (13 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2002122; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2002122
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