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Micromachines 2018, 9(2), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9020071

3D Printing Solutions for Microfluidic Chip-To-World Connections

1
Institute for Microsensors, -actuators and –systems (IMSAS), University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
2
Microsystems Center Bremen (MCB), University of Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 January 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 3 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printed Microfluidic Devices)
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Abstract

The connection of microfluidic devices to the outer world by tubes and wires is an underestimated issue. We present methods based on 3D printing to realize microfluidic chip holders with reliable fluidic and electric connections. The chip holders are constructed by microstereolithography, an additive manufacturing technique with sub-millimeter resolution. The fluidic sealing between the chip and holder is achieved by placing O-rings, partly integrated into the 3D-printed structure. The electric connection of bonding pads located on microfluidic chips is realized by spring-probes fitted within the printed holder. Because there is no gluing or wire bonding necessary, it is easy to change the chip in the measurement setup. The spring probes and O-rings are aligned automatically because of their fixed position within the holder. In the case of bioanalysis applications such as cells, a limitation of 3D-printed objects is the leakage of cytotoxic residues from the printing material, cured resin. This was solved by coating the 3D-printed structures with parylene-C. The combination of silicon/glass microfluidic chips fabricated with highly-reliable clean-room technology and 3D-printed chip holders for the chip-to-world connection is a promising solution for applications where biocompatibility, optical transparency and accurate sample handling must be assured. 3D printing technology for such applications will eventually arise, enabling the fabrication of complete microfluidic devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D printing; stereolithography; microfluidics; chip-holder; fluidic and electric connections 3D printing; stereolithography; microfluidics; chip-holder; fluidic and electric connections
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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van den Driesche, S.; Lucklum, F.; Bunge, F.; Vellekoop, M.J. 3D Printing Solutions for Microfluidic Chip-To-World Connections. Micromachines 2018, 9, 71.

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