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Unibody Lab-on-a-chip Fast Prototyping


Germán Comina, Anke Suska and Daniel Filippini

Optical Devices Laboratory (ODL)
Linkoping University, Sweden


The development of disposable devices for optical chemical detection with cell phones, entail challenging demands to configure autonomous systems. A flexible, fast and cost-effective fabrication concept is investigated to meet such demands. Unibody lab-on-a-chip (ULOC) devices are conceived around a single 3D printed monolithic structure that hosts all the complementary functionalities for sample handling, chemical interfacing and detection coupling. Prototypes can be produced in less than 30min for about 0.5 US$/device, and in this presentation their capabilities and potential are examined.



  • Motivation
  • Consumer grade 3D Printers
  • 3D Printed templates for PDMS on Glass LOC
  • Applications of the concept: Unibody LOC Examples
  • Conclusions




  • Classic LOC microfabrication requires specialized skills and clean room facilities
  • 3D structuring introuduces additional fabrication steps, including additional permanent masks and alignment procedures
  • Flexibility to introduce changes is limited
  • Unibody-LOC explores a low-cost fast prototyping concept, which does not require clean room

Consumer 3D Printer

  • Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
    – Thermoplastics and other matierals, ~50 microns vertical resolition,
    XY:> 100microns, poor surface finish, easy to operate and maintain.
  • Stereolithography (SL) Digital Light Projection (DLP)
    – One material, LED source, 5-50microns vertical resolition, XY:50 microns, accurate and excellent surface finish

Fabrication Platform

  • Consumer grade stereolithography (SL_DLP)3D printer (Miicraft,2299 USD)
  • Prototype fabrication time under 30min
  • Material cost ~ 0.5US/ prototype
  • Resolution: ~ 50X50X50 um
  • Surface roughness: 200nm
  • Work volume:40x30mmx180mm
  • Proprietary resion, undisclosed composition.

Classical micro fabrication

3D Printed templates for PDMS Lab-on-a-chip

Unibody Lab-on-a-chip

       – Fabrication complexity entirely transferred to the printer

       – Surface roughness under 200nm enables direct sealing with Scotch tape or PDMS film

       – Planar design permits long and smooth channel (50microns deep the easiest)

       – Planar design minimizes fabrication time (10-30min), facilitates cleaning and reduces cost

       – 3D features permit independently sealed sectors.

  • Unibody Paper Fluidics
  • Unibody Mixers
  • Unibody LOC unidirectional valves
  • Unibody injector with manual pumps
  • Cell phone chemical sensing


Source: Labtube

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