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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2013;2013:5521-4. doi: 10.1109/EMBC.2013.6610800.

A simple microfluidic gradient generator with a soft-lithographically prototyped, high-aspect-ratio, ~2 µm wide microchannel.


We have developed a cast microfluidic chip that contains a thin (~2 µm wide) microchannel that is smoothly connected to thick microfluidics. The thin line features having high aspect ratio for a low-cost photolithography in which an emulsion photomask was used (1:1 ~ 1:3) were fabricated by exposing SU-8 photoresist to diffused 185 nm UV light emitted by a low-cost ozone lamp from the backside of the substrate to ensure sufficient crosslinking of small regions of the SU-8 photoresist. An H-shaped microfluidic configuration was used, in which the thin channel maintained constant diffusion fronts beyond purely static diffusion. We also demonstrated the long-term effects of a gradient of nerve growth factor on axon elongation by primary neurons cultured in the micro channel.

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