Flash μ-fluidics: a rapid prototyping method for fabricating microfluidic devices†
Microfluidics has advanced in terms of design and structures; however, fabrication methods are time-consuming or expensive relative to facility costs and equipment needed. This work demonstrates a fast and economically viable 2D/3D maskless digital light-projection method based on a stereolithography process. Unlike other fabrication methods, one exposure step is used to form the whole device. Flash microfluidics is achieved by incorporating bonding and channel fabrication of complex structures in just 2.5 s to 4 s and by fabricating channel heights between 25 μm and 150 μm with photopolymer resin. The features of this fabrication technique, such as time and cost saving and easy fabrication, are used to build devices that are mostly needed in microfluidic/lab-on-chip systems. Due to the fast production method and low initial setup costs, the process could be used for point of care applications.