Micross

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Integrated Microfluidics on Printed Circuit Boards
Keywords: Microfluidics, materials/fabrication, integration
Microfluidics technology (often called Lab-On-a-Chipť) has important applications in the fields of biology, high throughput chemistry and the biomedical industry. Small portable devices that can reproduce complex fluidic assays currently performed on large scale systems have the potential to revolutionize applications in point-of-care and laboratory automation. Such systems have the advantages of being cheap and disposable, using very small amounts of sample and usable by non-professionals. However, the Lab-On-a-Chip concept requires the integration of sensors and actuators into microfluidic chips. Examples are optical sensors, precision micro heaters, micro pumps, mixers, flow sensors…etc. While many microfluidic devices have been developed, to date, very few fully integrated devices that can be reasonably scaled to manufacturing have been realized. This is because current manufacturing processes do not allow the integration of discrete functional modules -such as electronic sensors- into microfluidic chips. Our lab is pioneering highly integrated microfluidic devices that are manufacturable by integrating microfluidics with printed circuit boards (PCB). In order to accomplish this, new materials that are compatible with PCBs and the PCB manufacturing process must be explored for use in microfluidics applications. We have already identified and characterized several compatible laminate materials (polymers, photoresists) and developed laminate based novel manufacturing methods that allow the integration of standard surface mount electronic components (sensors, LEDs, etc"¦) into microfluidic systems. In this paper we demonstrate the use of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) as a microfluidic material that is highly compatible with standard PCB lamination methods, can readily encapsulate microelectronics, can produce high precision fluidic channels, and result in semi-rigid layers on the PCB. We describe the fabrication process and investigate the surface characteristics of the material for microfluidic applications.
Sarkis Babikian, Graduate Student
University of California Irvine
Irvine, CA
USA


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