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Polymers 2017, 9(7), 242;

Direct Micromachining of Microfluidic Channels on Biodegradable Materials Using Laser Ablation

Department of Chemical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Environment Sciences, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jinlian Hu, Rui Xiao and Chih-Feng Huang
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 15 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functionally Responsive Polymeric Materials)
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Laser patterning on polymeric materials is considered a green and rapid manufacturing process with low material selection barrier and high adjustability. Unlike microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), it is a highly flexible processing method, especially useful for prototyping. This study focuses on the development of polymer surface modification method using a 193 nm excimer laser system for the design and fabrication of a microfluidic system similar to that of natural vasculatures. Besides from poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS), laser ablation on biodegradable polymeric material, poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS) and poly(1,3-diamino-2-hydroxypropane-co-polyol sebacate) (APS) are investigated. Parameters of laser ablation and fabrication techniques to create microchannels are discussed. The results show that nano/micro-sized fractures and cracks are generally observed across PDMS surface after laser ablation, but not on PGS and APS surfaces. The widths of channels are more precise on PGS and APS than those on PDMS. Laser beam size and channel depth are high correlation with a linear relationship. Repeated laser ablations on the same position of scaffolds reveal that the ablation efficiencies and edge quality on PGS and APS are higher than on PDMS, suggesting the high applicability of direct laser machining to PGS and APS. To ensure stable ablation efficiency, effects of defocus distance into polymer surfaces toward laser ablation stability are investigated. The depth of channel is related to the ratio of firing frequency and ablation progression speed. The hydrodynamic simulation of channels suggests that natural blood vessel is similar to the laser patterned U-shaped channels, and the resulting micro-patterns are highly applicable in the field of micro-fabrication and biomedical engineering. View Full-Text
Keywords: laser ablation; microfluidic fabrication; biodegradable polymeric material laser ablation; microfluidic fabrication; biodegradable polymeric material

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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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Hsieh, Y.-K.; Chen, S.-C.; Huang, W.-L.; Hsu, K.-P.; Gorday, K.A.V.; Wang, T.; Wang, J. Direct Micromachining of Microfluidic Channels on Biodegradable Materials Using Laser Ablation. Polymers 2017, 9, 242.

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