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3D Printed Inertial Microfluidic Devices: The Next Generation Microfluidics

By 13th April 2020No Comments

The following study was conducted by Scientists from School of Biomedical Engineering, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia; School of Engineering, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia; Institute for Biomedical Materials & Devices (IBMD), Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia; SUStech-UTS joint Research Centre for Biomedical Materials & Devices, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China; Institute of Molecular Medicine, Sechenov University, Moscow, Russia. Study is published in Scientific Reports Journal as detailed below.

Scientific Reports; Volume 10, Article Number: 5929; (2020)

3D Printing of Inertial Microfluidic Devices


Inertial microfluidics has been broadly investigated, resulting in the development of various applications, mainly for particle or cell separation. Lateral migrations of these particles within a microchannel strictly depend on the channel design and its cross-section. Nonetheless, the fabrication of these microchannels is a continuous challenging issue for the microfluidic community, where the most studied channel cross-sections are limited to only rectangular and more recently trapezoidal microchannels. As a result, a huge amount of potential remains intact for other geometries with cross-sections difficult to fabricate with standard microfabrication techniques. In this study, by leveraging on benefits of additive manufacturing, we have proposed a new method for the fabrication of inertial microfluidic devices. In our proposed workflow, parts are first printed via a high-resolution DLP/SLA 3D printer and then bonded to a transparent PMMA sheet using a double-coated pressure-sensitive adhesive tape. Using this method, we have fabricated and tested a plethora of existing inertial microfluidic devices, whether in a single or multiplexed manner, such as straight, spiral, serpentine, curvilinear, and contraction-expansion arrays. Our characterizations using both particles and cells revealed that the produced chips could withstand a pressure up to 150 psi with minimum interference of the tape to the total functionality of the device and viability of cells. As a showcase of the versatility of our method, we have proposed a new spiral microchannel with right-angled triangular cross-section which is technically impossible to fabricate using the standard lithography. We are of the opinion that the method proposed in this study will open the door for more complex geometries with the bespoke passive internal flow. Furthermore, the proposed fabrication workflow can be adopted at the production level, enabling large-scale manufacturing of inertial microfluidic devices.


Scientific Reports



Razavi Bazaz, S., O. Rouhi, et al. (2020). “3D Printing of Inertial Microfluidic Devices.” Scientific Reports 10(1): 5929.