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Issue 23, 2017
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Non-planar PDMS microfluidic channels and actuators: a review

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This review examines the state of the art for manufacturing non-planar miniature channels and actuators from PDMS, where non-planar structures are defined here as those beyond simple extrusions of 2D designs, either with rounded or variable cross sections or with an emergence of the channel trajectory out-of-plane. The motivation for 3D PDMS structures and advances in their fabrication are described, focusing on geometries that were previously unachievable through conventional microfabrication. The motivation for non-planar microfluidic channels and actuators is first discussed and the existing literature is grouped into general fabrication themes and described. The structures are organized by their method of fabrication and evaluated based on their relevant properties, including the capability of producing structures with complex geometry, automation of the fabrication process, and minimum feature size. Additional properties are included for work in the more recently emerging field of non-planar PDMS actuators, where the feature size, actuation stroke, and actuation method are the key parameters of interest. In particular, this review considers the impact from recent advances in additive manufacturing, which now allow creation of truly arbitrary 3D structures down to ∼100 μm size scales.

Graphical abstract: Non-planar PDMS microfluidic channels and actuators: a review

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 May 2017, accepted on 11 Aug 2017 and first published on 18 Aug 2017

Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C7LC00523G
Citation: Lab Chip, 2017,17, 3948-3959
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    Non-planar PDMS microfluidic channels and actuators: a review

    Y. Hwang and R. N. Candler, Lab Chip, 2017, 17, 3948
    DOI: 10.1039/C7LC00523G

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