Microfluidic devices offer the potential to automate a wide variety of chemical and biological operations that are applicable for diagnostic and therapeutic operations with higher efficiency as well as higher repeatability and reproducibility. Polymer based microfluidic devices offer particular advantages including those of cost and biocompatibility. Here, we describe direct and replication approaches for manufacturing of polymer microfluidic devices. Replications approaches require fabrication of mould or master and we describe different methods of mould manufacture, including mechanical (micro-cutting; ultrasonic machining), energy-assisted methods (electrodischarge machining, micro-electrochemical machining, laser ablation, electron beam machining, focused ion beam (FIB) machining), traditional micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) processes, as well as mould fabrication approaches for curved surfaces. The approaches for microfluidic device fabrications are described in terms of low volume production (casting, lamination, laser ablation, 3D printing) and high-volume production (hot embossing, injection moulding, and film or sheet operations).
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the European Commission through the DVT-IMP (34256) and GateOne (644856) projects.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.