Indexed on: 17 Sep '11Published on: 17 Sep '11Published in: Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
As a self-regulating heating device, positive temperature coefficient ceramic heater was employed for hot embossing and thermal bonding of poly(methyl methacrylate) microfluidic chip because it supplied constant-temperature heating without electrical control circuits. To emboss a channel plate, a piece of poly(methyl methacrylate) plate was sandwiched between a template and a microscopic glass slide on a positive temperature coefficient ceramic heater. All the assembled components were pressed between two elastic press heads of a spring-driven press while a voltage was applied to the heater for 10 min. Subsequently, the embossed poly(methyl methacrylate) plate bearing negative relief of channel networks was bonded with a piece of poly(methyl methacrylate) cover sheet to obtain a complete microchip using a positive temperature coefficient ceramic heater and a spring-driven press. High quality microfluidic chips fabricated by using the novel embossing/bonding device were successfully applied in the electrophoretic separation of three cations. Positive temperature coefficient ceramic heater indicates great promise for the low-cost production of poly(methyl methacrylate) microchips and should find wide applications in the fabrication of other thermoplastic polymer microfluidic devices.