Increased demand for inexpensive and rapid prototyping methods for micro- and millifluidic lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices has stimulated considerable interest in alternative cost-effective fabrication techniques. Additive manufacturing (AM)-also called three-dimensional (3D) printing-provides an attractive alternative to conventional fabrication techniques. AM has been used to produce LOC master moulds from which positive replicas are made using soft-lithography and a biocompatible elastomer, poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS). Here we characterize moulds made using twoAMmethods-stereolithography (SLA) and material-jetting (MJ)-and the positive replicas produced by soft lithography and PDMS moulding. The results showed that SLA, more than MJ, produced finer part resolution and finer tuning of feature geometry. Furthermore, as assessed by zebrafish (Danio rerio) biotoxicity tests, there was no toxicity observed in SLA and MJ moulded PDMS replicas. We conclude that SLA, utilizing commercially available printers and resins, combined with PDMS soft-lithography, is a simple and easily accessible technique that lends its self particularly well to the fabrication of biocompatible millifluidic devices, highly suited to the in-situ analysis of small model organisms.
- Material jetting
- Soft lithography