6 March 2014 A chemically inert multichannel chip-to-world interface to connect microfluidic chips
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Within the last decades more and more microfluidic systems for applications in chemistry, biology or medicine were developed. Most of them need a connection between the chip and its macroscopic environment e.g., pumps. Numerous concepts for such interconnections are known from literature but most of them allow only a small number of connections and are neither chemically inert nor contamination-free. We developed a chemically inert, reusable, multichannel Chipto- World-Interface (CWI) based on a force fit connection. This principle is comparable to hollow screws as used in highperformance liquid chromatography. The CWI can be used to connect chips, made of different materials, e.g., glass, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), or epoxy polymers, with up to 100 thermoplastic tubes. The dimensions of the CWI and the number of connections can be individually adapted depending on the chip dimensions but the pitch between the tubes is fixed. Due to the design of the CWI the fluid is only in contact with the chip and the tubing material, thus leading to a contamination free and zero dead volume interconnection. Using tubes of polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE, Teflon®) even enables probing with organic solvents like dimethylformamide, dichloromethane or tetrahydrofuran over several hours without leakage or corrosion of the CWI. During experiments the CWI with 100 connections resisted pressure up to 630 kPa (6.3 bar) and sustained flow rates higher than 4 ml/min.
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Christiane Neumann, Elisabeth Wilhelm, Thomas Duttenhofer, Leonardo Pires, and Bastian E. Rapp "A chemically inert multichannel chip-to-world interface to connect microfluidic chips", Proc. SPIE 8976, Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XII, 89760E (6 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2044660; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2044660

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