An injection molding process for the fabrication of disposable plastic microfluidic chips with a cycle time of 2 min has been designed, developed, and implemented. Of the sixteen commercially available grades of cyclo-olefin copolymer (COC) that were screened for autofluorescence and transparency to ultraviolet (UV) light, Topas 8007 x 10 was identified as the most suitable for production. A robust solid metal mold insert defining the microfluidic channels was rapidly microfabricated using a process that significantly reduces the time required for electroplating. No wear of the insert was observed even after over 1000 cycles. The chips were bonded by thermal fusion using different bonding conditions. Each condition was tested and its suitability evaluated by burst pressure measurements. The COC microfluidic chips feature novel, integrated, reversible, standardized, ready-to-use interconnects that enable operation at pressures up to 15.6 MPa, the highest value reported to date. The suitability of these UV transparent, high pressure-resistant, disposable devices was demonstrated by in situ preparation of a high surface area porous polymer monolith within the channels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering