Rapid prototyping of microfluidic systems using a combination of double-sided tape and PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) is introduced. PDMS is typically difficult to bond using adhesive tapes due to its hydrophobic nature and low surface energy. For this reason, PDMS is not compatible with the xurography method, which uses a knife plotter and various adhesive coated polymer tapes. To solve these problems, a PDMS/tape composite was developed and demonstrated in microfluidic applications. The PDMS/tape composite was created by spinning it to make a thin layer of PDMS over double-sided tape. Then the PDMS/tape composite was patterned to create channels using xurography, and bonded to a PDMS slab. After removing the backing paper from the tape, a complete microfluidic system could be created by placing the construct onto nearly any substrate; including glass, plastic or metal-coated glass/silicon substrates. The bond strength was shown to be sufficient for the pressures that occur in typical microfluidic channels used for chemical or biological analysis. This method was demonstrated in three applications: standard microfluidic channels and reactors, a microfluidic system with an integrated membrane, and an electrochemical biosensor. The PDMS/tape composite rapid prototyping technique provides a fast and cost effective fabrication method and can provide easy integration of microfluidic channels with sensors and other components without the need for a cleanroom facility.
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