Indexed on: 24 Dec '05Published on: 24 Dec '05Published in: Lab on a Chip
A novel method based on in situ surface polymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) has been developed for the rapid fabrication of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) capillary electrophoresis (CE) microchips. MMA containing both thermal and ultraviolet (UV) initiators was allowed to prepolymerize in a water bath to form a fast curing molding solution that was subsequently sandwiched between a nickel template and a PMMA plate. The images of the raised microchannels on the nickel template were precisely replicated into the synthesized PMMA substrates during the UV-initiated polymerization of the molding solution within 30 min under ambient temperature. The attractive performances of the novel PMMA microchips have been demonstrated in connection with amperometric detection for the separation and detection of several model analytes. The new approach significantly simplifies the process for fabricating PMMA devices and could be applied to other materials that undergo light-initiated polymerization.