1 June 2015 Biological implications of lab-on-a-chip devices fabricated using multi-jet modelling and stereolithography processes
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Current microfabrication methods are often restricted to two-dimensional (2D) or two and a half dimensional (2.5D) structures. Those fabrication issues can be potentially addressed by emerging additive manufacturing technologies. Despite rapid growth of additive manufacturing technologies in tissue engineering, microfluidics has seen relatively little developments with regards to adopting 3D printing for rapid fabrication of complex chip-based devices. This has been due to two major factors: lack of sufficient resolution of current rapid-prototyping methods (usually >100 μm ) and optical transparency of polymers to allow in vitro imaging of specimens. We postulate that adopting innovative fabrication processes can provide effective solutions for prototyping and manufacturing of chip-based devices with high-aspect ratios (i.e. above ration of 20:1). This work provides a comprehensive investigation of commercially available additive manufacturing technologies as an alternative for rapid prototyping of complex monolithic Lab-on-a-Chip devices for biological applications. We explored both multi-jet modelling (MJM) and several stereolithography (SLA) processes with five different 3D printing resins. Compared with other rapid prototyping technologies such as PDMS soft lithography and infrared laser micromachining, we demonstrated that selected SLA technologies had superior resolution and feature quality. We also for the first time optimised the post-processing protocols and demonstrated polymer features under scanning electronic microscope (SEM). Finally we demonstrate that selected SLA polymers have optical properties enabling high-resolution biological imaging. A caution should be, however, exercised as more work is needed to develop fully bio-compatible and non-toxic polymer chemistries.
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Feng Zhu, Feng Zhu, Niall P. Macdonald, Niall P. Macdonald, Joanna Skommer, Joanna Skommer, Donald Wlodkowic, Donald Wlodkowic, } "Biological implications of lab-on-a-chip devices fabricated using multi-jet modelling and stereolithography processes", Proc. SPIE 9518, Bio-MEMS and Medical Microdevices II, 951808 (1 June 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2180743; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2180743

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