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Microfluidic chip fabrication and performance analysis of 3D printed material for use in microfluidic nucleic acid amplification application

Lookup NU author(s): Babis Tzivelekis, Dr Matthew Selby, Professor Kenneth Dalgarno



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Additive manufacturing for microfluidics shows potential to boost research and development in research biology and molecular diagnostics. This paper reports on novel process and material optimisation techniques in the creation of a monolithic microfluidic chip geometry for PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) thermocycling using stereolithography. A two-stage printing protocol with projection stereolithography is assessed in printing disposable oscillating-flow microfluidic cartridges for PCR. Print performance was characterized in terms of critical channel dimensions and surface quality. Post-treatment with ultraviolet light and solvent washes was shown to reduce PCR inhibiting residuals and facilitate the reaction, indicating material compatibility for fluidic and milli-fluidic PCR architectures. Residuals leaching from the polymer were shown via quantitative PCR that interact with enzyme activity. Passivation of channel surfaces with a polyethylene glycol and a silane static coating reduced the leaching interface improving overall PCR efficiency. The discussed protocols can serve as a low-cost alternative to clean-room and micromachined microfluidic prototypes for various microfluidic concepts.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tzivelekis C, Selby MP, Batet A, Madadi H, Dalgarno K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering

Year: 2021

Volume: 31

Issue: 3

Online publication date: 26/01/2021

Acceptance date: 07/01/2021

Date deposited: 11/12/2020

ISSN (print): 0960-1317

ISSN (electronic): 1361-6439

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1088/1361-6439/abd9a9


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