PDMS Microfluidic Chip Customization and Processing
PDMS, also known as polydimethylsiloxane, is an organic polymer (structure containing carbon and silicon) widely used in the processing and prototyping of microfluidic chips. The PDMS material itself has the characteristics of high transparency, elasticity, superior air permeability, chemical inertness, and strong repeatability. It is very suitable for scientific research experiments related to microfluidics, such as cell culture, drug screening, cell capture, and other related biological experiments. The material itself is hydrophobic and can be flexibly modified by chemical or physical methods to eliminate the non-specific adsorption of cells.
PDMS Microfluidic Chip Processing
PDMS is one of the most commonly used materials for molding microfluidic devices. Here, a process for fabricating microfluidic chips by soft lithographic methods is described.
(1) The shape-molding step allows bulk processing to produce microfluidic chips from molds.
(2) Pour the mixture of PDMS (liquid) and cross-linking agent (also known as curing agent, used to cure PDMS) into the mold and heat it at high temperature.
(3) Once the PDMS hardens, it can be removed from the mold. We obtain replicas of microchannels on PDMS blocks.
Completion of the microfluidic device:
(4) In order to allow fluid injection for future experiments, the inlet and outlet of the microfluidic device were perforated with a PDMS hole punch, the size of which was consistent with the size of the subsequent connecting catheter.
(5) Finally, the PDMS sheet and glass slide with microchannels were treated with plasma.
(6) Plasma treatment allows the PDMS sheet and glass slide to bond to seal the microfluidic chip.
Advantages of PDMS Chips
Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), as a solidified polymer organosilicon compound, generally has the characteristics of inert, non-toxic, non-flammable, having high optical transparency, and having high fidelity reproduction of microfluidic chips. After years of development, PDMS packaging microfluidic chip technology has contributed a lot of wealth to the scientific community. Its advantages include:
(1) Excellent biocompatibility.
(2) Chemical resistance.
(3) No residual solvents such as xylene and ethylbenzene.
(4) Easy to de-mold after curing.
(5) There are no by-products after curing.
(6) Low viscosity and easy flow.
- Inline chip
- Cross chip
- S type hybrid chip
- Focused chip
- Minimum channel width: 5 µm
- Minimum cylindrical diameter: 10 µm (if the mold is dimpled, the aspect ratio of PDMS cannot exceed 1:1)
- Minimum adjacent channel spacing: 20 µm
- Minimum channel height: 10 µm
- Recognizable minimum feature size: 2 µm
- Channel height: ΔH=±5% channel height
- Accuracy of height features: ±5% of channel height
- Verticality of channel side wall: ±3o
If you need PDMS chip processing and customized services, please feel free to contact our experts for a free consultation.
- Xia, Y. & Whitesides, G. M. Soft Lithography. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 1998 (37), 550–575.
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