PCB | February 22, 2007

Dyconex now has volume manufacturing<br>cabability of Polymer Microfluidic Substrates

Bioanalytical detection or analysis methods often rely on the availability of large numbers of identical, possibly disposable microfluidic substrates. Duconex has now ramped up to be able to handle volume production of Polymer Microfluidic Substrates with Integrated Electrodes.
Simple polymer microchannels can be manufactured in high volumes using well-established technologies such as hot embossing, injection moulding or casting. However, for many applications in biosensor technology, it is necessary to integrate microelectrodes inside microstructures in order to use them as sensing element or for fluidic actuation. In view of these requirements, DYCONEX has developed a technology based on printed circuit manufacturing technologies enabling the volume production of polymer microfluidic substrates with integrated microelectrodes for a wide range of biomedical applications.

The fabrication technology uses large-area, double-sided plasma etching of polymers (polyimide, LCP, PET, PC, COC, etc.) in order to generate microfluidic channels systems. Depending on the size of the actual microfluidic chip design, hundreds or thousands of individual substrates can be manufactured on one standard fabrication panel.

Gold microelectrodes down to a feature size of 25 microns can be generated, other special surfaces are possible when required by the final application (e.g. Ag/AgCl reference electrodes). The technology is also extendable to multi-level microfluidic systems with inlets/outlets and fluidic interconnect between the channel systems.

The presented technology has been used for the fabrication of microfluidic networks with channel widths down to 50 microns and heights down to 20 microns. Many of the available materials can sustain harsh chemical environments and high temperatures making the substrates also applicable for microreactors or chemical processing. The approach of fabricating microfluidic substrates with integrated electrodes using printed circuit technology takes advantage of the well established process control and availability of process equipment for large area panel manufacturing and is well adapted for applications in the field of microTAS and Lab-on-a-Chip.


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