Fabrication of masters for microfluidic devices using conventional printed circuit technology
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The capability to easily and inexpensively fabricate microfluidic devices with negligible dependence on specialized laboratory equipment continues to be one of the primary forces driving the widespread use of plastic-based devices. These devices are typically produced as replicas of a rigid mold or master incorporating a negative image of the desired structures. The negative image is typically constructed from either thick photoresists or etched silicon substrates using conventional photolithographic fabrication processes. While these micromachining techniques are effective in constructing masters with micron-sized features, the need to produce masters rapidly in order to design, fabricate, and test microfluidic devices, is a major challenge in microfluidic technology. In this research, we use inexpensive photosensitized copper clad circuit board substrates to produce master molds using conventional printed circuit technology. The techniques provide the benefits of parallel fabrication associated with photolithography without the need for cleanroom facilities, thereby offering a degree of speed and simplicity that allows microfluidic master molds to be constructed in approximately 30 minutes in any laboratory. These techniques are used to produce a variety of microfluidic channel networks using PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) and melt-processable plastic materials.
Sudarsan, Arjun Penubolu (2003). Fabrication of masters for microfluidic devices using conventional printed circuit technology. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from