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Nat Protoc. 2015 Jun;10(6):875-86. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2015.051. Epub 2015 May 14.

Inexpensive, rapid prototyping of microfluidic devices using overhead transparencies and a laser print, cut and laminate fabrication method.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.
2
Instituto de Química, Universidade Federal De Goiás, Goiânia-Go, Brazil.
3
Bioanalytical, Microfabrication and Separations Group, Instituto de Química de São Carlos/Universidade de São Paulo, Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia de Bioanalítica, São Carlos, Brazil.
4
1] Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. [2] Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. [3] Department of Pathology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

Abstract

We describe a technique for fabricating microfluidic devices with complex multilayer architectures using a laser printer, a CO2 laser cutter, an office laminator and common overhead transparencies as a printable substrate via a laser print, cut and laminate (PCL) methodology. The printer toner serves three functions: (i) it defines the microfluidic architecture, which is printed on the overhead transparencies; (ii) it acts as the adhesive agent for the bonding of multiple transparency layers; and (iii) it provides, in its unmodified state, printable, hydrophobic 'valves' for fluidic flow control. By using common graphics software, e.g., CorelDRAW or AutoCAD, the protocol produces microfluidic devices with a design-to-device time of ∼40 min. Devices of any shape can be generated for an array of multistep assays, with colorimetric detection of molecular species ranging from small molecules to proteins. Channels with varying depths can be formed using multiple transparency layers in which a CO2 laser is used to remove the polyester from the channel sections of the internal layers. The simplicity of the protocol, availability of the equipment and substrate and cost-effective nature of the process make microfluidic devices available to those who might benefit most from expedited, microscale chemistry.

PMID:
25974096
DOI:
10.1038/nprot.2015.051
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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