New Publication in Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

"Strategy for fast manufacturing of 3D hydrodynamic focusing multilayer microfluidic chips and its application for flow-based synthesis of gold nanoparticles"

Yanwei Wang, Michael Seidel. Microfluidics and Nanofluidics (2021)


Fabrication of 3D microfluidic devices is normally quite expensive and tedious. A strategy was established to rapidly and effectively produce multilayer 3D microfluidic chips which are made of two layers of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) sheets and three layers of double-sided pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) tapes. The channel structures were cut in each layer by cutting plotter before assembly. The structured channels were covered by a PMMA sheet on top and a PMMA carrier which contained threads to connect with tubing. A large variety of PMMA slides and PSA tapes can easily be designed and cut with the help of a cutting plotter. The microfluidic chip was manually assembled by a simple lamination process.The complete fabrication process from device design concept to working device can be completed in minutes without the need of expensive equipment such as laser, thermal lamination, and cleanroom. This rapid frabrication method was applied for design of a 3D hydrodynamic focusing device for synthesis of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) as proof-of-concept. The fouling of AuNPs was prevented by means of a sheath flow. Different parameters such as flow rate and concentration of reagents were controlled to achieve AuNPs of various sizes. The sheet-based fabrication method offers a possibility to create complex microfluidic devices in a rapid, cheap and easy way.