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Fabrication of microfluidic devices: improvement of surface quality of CO2 laser machined poly(methylmethacrylate) polymer

journal contribution
posted on 2017-01-01, 00:00 authored by Mazher Mohammed, Abbas KouzaniAbbas Kouzani, Ian GibsonIan Gibson, Muhd Nazrul Hisham Zainal Alam
Laser engraving has considerable potential for the rapid and cost effective manufacturing of polymeric microfluidic devices. However, fabricated devices are hindered by relatively large surface roughness in the engraved areas, which can perturb smooth fluidic flow and can damage sensitive biological components. This effect is exacerbated when engraving at depths beyond the laser focal range, limiting the production of large aspect ratio devices such as microbioreactors. This work aims to overcome such manufacturing limitations and to realise
more reproducible and defect free microfluidic channels and structures. We present a strategy of multiple engraving passes alongside solvent polymer reflow for shallow depth (<500 μm) and a layer cutting with laminate bonding for larger depth (>500 μm) features. To examine the
proposed methodologies, capillary action and bioreactor microfluidic devices were fabricated and evaluated. Results indicate that the multiple engraving technique could reproduce engraved microfluidic channels to depths between 50–470 μm, both rapidly (6–8 min) and with low average surface roughness (1.5–2.5 μm). The layer cutting approach was effective at manufacturing microfluidic devices with depths <500 μm, rapidly (<1 min) and with low surface roughness. Ultimately, the proposed methodology is highly beneficial for the rapid development of polymer-based microfluidic devices.

History

Journal

Journal of micromechanics and microengineering

Volume

27

Article number

015021

Pagination

1 - 12

Publisher

Institute of Physics Publishing

Location

Bristol, Eng.

ISSN

0960-1317

eISSN

1361-6439

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, IOP Publishing Ltd