Organically modified ceramic polymers (ORMOCERs) have attracted substantial interest in biomicrofluidic applications owing to their inherent biocompatibility and high optical transparency even in the near-ultraviolet (UV) range. However, the processes for metallization of ORMOCERs as well as for sealing of metallized surfaces have not been fully developed. In this study, we developed metallization processes for a commercial ORMOCER formulation, Ormocomp, covering several commonly used metals, including aluminum, silver, gold, and platinum. The obtained metallizations were systematically characterized with respect to adhesion (with and without adhesion layers), resistivity, and stability during use (in electrochemical assays). In addition to metal adhesion, the possibility for Ormocomp bonding over each metal as well as sufficient step coverage to guarantee conductivity over topographical features (e.g., over microchannel edges) was addressed with a view to the implementation of not only planar, but also three-dimensional on-chip sensing elements. The feasibility of the developed metallization for implementation of microfluidic electrochemical assays was demonstrated by fabricating an electrophoresis separation chip, compatible with a commercial bipotentiostat, and incorporating integrated working, reference, and auxiliary electrodes for amperometric detection of an electrochemically active pharmaceutical, acetaminophen.
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