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Open AccessArticle

Facile Fabrication of Microfluidic Chips for 3D Hydrodynamic Focusing and Wet Spinning of Polymeric Fibers

1
Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Laboratory for Biomimetic Membranes and Textiles, Lerchenfeldstrasse 5, CH-9014 St.Gallen; Switzerland
2
Laboratory of Photonic Materials and Fibre Devices (FIMAP), Institute of Materials, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These two authors contributed equally to this work.
Polymers 2020, 12(3), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12030633
Received: 18 February 2020 / Revised: 4 March 2020 / Accepted: 5 March 2020 / Published: 10 March 2020
Microfluidic wet spinning has gained increasing interest in recent years as an alternative to conventional wet spinning by offering higher control in fiber morphology and a gateway for the development of multi-material fibers. Conventionally, microfluidic chips used to create such fibers are fabricated by soft lithography, a method that requires both time and investment in necessary cleanroom facilities. Recently, additive manufacturing techniques were investigated for rapid and cost-efficient prototyping. However, these microfluidic devices are not yet matching the resolutions and tolerances offered by soft lithography. Herein, we report a facile and rapid method using selected arrays of hypodermic needles as templates within a silicone elastomer matrix. The produced microfluidic spinnerets display co-axially aligned circular channels. By simulation and flow experiments, we prove that these devices can maintain laminar flow conditions and achieve precise 3D hydrodynamic focusing. The devices were tested with a commercial polyurethane formulation to demonstrate that fibers with desired morphologies can be produced by varying the degree of hydrodynamic focusing. Thanks to the adaptability of this concept to different microfluidic spinneret designs—as well as to its transparency, ease of fabrication, and cost-efficient procedure—this device sets the ground for transferring microfluidic wet spinning towards industrial textile settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: chip fabrication; fiber wet spinning; hydrodynamic focusing; computational flow modeling; textile industry chip fabrication; fiber wet spinning; hydrodynamic focusing; computational flow modeling; textile industry
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gursoy, A.; Iranshahi, K.; Wei, K.; Tello, A.; Armagan, E.; Boesel, L.F.; Sorin, F.; Rossi, R.M.; Defraeye, T.; Toncelli, C. Facile Fabrication of Microfluidic Chips for 3D Hydrodynamic Focusing and Wet Spinning of Polymeric Fibers. Polymers 2020, 12, 633. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12030633

AMA Style

Gursoy A, Iranshahi K, Wei K, Tello A, Armagan E, Boesel LF, Sorin F, Rossi RM, Defraeye T, Toncelli C. Facile Fabrication of Microfluidic Chips for 3D Hydrodynamic Focusing and Wet Spinning of Polymeric Fibers. Polymers. 2020; 12(3):633. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12030633

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gursoy, Akin; Iranshahi, Kamran; Wei, Kongchang; Tello, Alexis; Armagan, Efe; Boesel, Luciano F.; Sorin, Fabien; Rossi, René M.; Defraeye, Thijs; Toncelli, Claudio. 2020. "Facile Fabrication of Microfluidic Chips for 3D Hydrodynamic Focusing and Wet Spinning of Polymeric Fibers" Polymers 12, no. 3: 633. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12030633

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