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A Gas-Assisted Resin Injection Technique for Bonding and Surface Modification of Microfluidic Devices

Materials
Polymers
College
College of Engineering (COE)
Researchers
Lee, L James
Lai, Siyi
Licensing Manager
Norris, Francis "Frank"
614-292-5503
norris.641@osu.edu

T2002-018 A new resin gas-assisted injection technique, which can achieve both bonding and surface modification of microfluidic devices

The Need

The application of microfluidic platforms is limited because the materials and production methods are too expensive, and the material properties induce problems, such as a lack of optical clarity and low impact strength. Packaging (i.e. sealing a device with a lid) is also a challenge in the fabrication of polymer-based microfluidic devices because current techniques either block or change microchannels. These packaging methods are only applicable for relatively large microchannels (several hundreds of microns to millimeters). In addition, microfluidic biocompatibility is a requirement lacking in substrates used due to protein adsorption and cell adhesion on the substrate surface. Therefore, modifications are necessary to produce microfluidic platforms that can overcome the technology's current weaknesses.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. L. Lee, developed a new resin gas-assisted injection technique, which achieves both bonding and surface modification of microfluidic devices. This technique includes injecting a sealing resin with a surface modification agent into the microfluidic platform to fill the micron and submicron sized channels, reservoirs, and the gap between the platform and the lid. A gas (e.g., air or nitrogen) is then injected to replace most of the resin inside the channels and reservoirs. The remaining resin is cured (fully or partially) by ultraviolet light. By applying a masking technique, local modification of the channel surface can also be achieved through this method.

Commercial Applications

  • Microfluidic platform production:
    • Chemical
    • Biological
    • Medical

Benefits/Advantages

  • Greater scalability with low cost and easily processable materials
  • Biocompatible and recyclable
  • Produces smaller microchannels (micron and submicron)
  • Polymer substrate materials were selected to provide a wide range of physical and chemical properties