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Polymer Microfluidics: Simple, Low-Cost Fabrication Process Bridging Academic Lab Research to Commercialized Production

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Central University, Taoyuan 32001, Taiwan
Academic Editors: Weihua Li, Say Hwa Tan and Nam-Trung Nguyen
Micromachines 2016, 7(12), 225;
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 26 November 2016 / Accepted: 7 December 2016 / Published: 10 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insights and Advancements in Microfluidics)
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Using polymer materials to fabricate microfluidic devices provides simple, cost effective, and disposal advantages for both lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices and micro total analysis systems (μTAS). Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer and thermoplastics are the two major polymer materials used in microfluidics. The fabrication of PDMS and thermoplastic microfluidic device can be categorized as front-end polymer microchannel fabrication and post-end microfluidic bonding procedures, respectively. PDMS and thermoplastic materials each have unique advantages and their use is indispensable in polymer microfluidics. Therefore, the proper selection of polymer microfabrication is necessary for the successful application of microfluidics. In this paper, we give a short overview of polymer microfabrication methods for microfluidics and discuss current challenges and future opportunities for research in polymer microfluidics fabrication. We summarize standard approaches, as well as state-of-art polymer microfluidic fabrication methods. Currently, the polymer microfluidic device is at the stage of technology transition from research labs to commercial production. Thus, critical consideration is also required with respect to the commercialization aspects of fabricating polymer microfluidics. This article provides easy-to-understand illustrations and targets to assist the research community in selecting proper polymer microfabrication strategies in microfluidics. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymer microfluidics; polymer microfabrication; thermoplastics; polydimethylsiloxane polymer microfluidics; polymer microfabrication; thermoplastics; polydimethylsiloxane

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Tsao, C.-W. Polymer Microfluidics: Simple, Low-Cost Fabrication Process Bridging Academic Lab Research to Commercialized Production. Micromachines 2016, 7, 225.

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