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Biomicrofluidics. 2011 Apr 14;5(2):24102. doi: 10.1063/1.3569946.

A "dry and wet hybrid" lithography technique for multilevel replication templates: Applications to microfluidic neuron culture and two-phase global mixing.


A broad range of microfluidic applications, ranging from cell culture to protein crystallization, requires multilevel devices with different heights and feature sizes (from micrometers to millimeters). While state-of-the-art direct-writing techniques have been developed for creating complex three-dimensional shapes, replication molding from a multilevel template is still the preferred method for fast prototyping of microfluidic devices in the laboratory. Here, we report on a "dry and wet hybrid" technique to fabricate multilevel replication molds by combining SU-8 lithography with a dry film resist (Ordyl). We show that the two lithography protocols are chemically compatible with each other. Finally, we demonstrate the hybrid technique in two different microfluidic applications: (1) a neuron culture device with compartmentalization of different elements of a neuron and (2) a two-phase (gas-liquid) global micromixer for fast mixing of a small amount of a viscous liquid into a larger volume of a less viscous liquid.

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