A disposable microfluidic device with a reusable magnetophoretic functional substrate for isolation of circulating tumor cells
We describe an assembly-disposable microfluidic device based on a silicone-coated release polymer thin film. It consists of a disposable polymeric superstrate and a reusable functional substrate and they are assembled simply using vacuum pressure. The disposable polymeric superstrate is manufactured by bonding a silicone-coated release polymer thin film and a microstructured polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) replica, containing only a simple structured microchannel. The reusable functional substrate generates an intricate energy field that can penetrate the micrometer-thick polymer film into the microchannel and control microfluids. This is the first report to introduce a silicone-coated release polyethylene terephthalate (PET) thin film as a bonding layer on a microstructured PDMS replica. The bonding strength was ∼600 kPa, which is the strongest among bonding methods of PDMS and PET polymer. Additionally, accelerated tests for bond stability and leakage demonstrated that the silicone-coated release PET film can form a very robust bond with PDMS. To demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed assembly-disposable microfluidic device, a lateral magnetophoretic microseparator was developed in an assembly-disposable microfluidic device format and was evaluated for isolating circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from patients with breast cancer.