Inkjet Pattern-guided Liquid Templates on Superhydrophobic Substrates for Rapid Prototyping of Microfluidic Devices.

Research paper by Xiaochen X Lai, Zhihua Z Pu, Haixia H Yu, Dachao D Li

Indexed on: 07 Dec '19Published on: 06 Dec '19Published in: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces


This paper presents a novel method of rapidly customizing microfluidic systems using a consumer-grade inkjet printers and a commercially-available superhydrophobic spray. By casting polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) on liquid templates that are defined by inkjet-printed hydrophilic patterns on superhydrophobically-coated PDMS substrates, microfluidic devices can be directly fabricated. By utilizing the interfacial properties of the superhydrophobic coating and the template liquid, the fabrication of microfluidics could be done with minimum effort and expertise, and unlike previously reported works, no mask and bonding process are necessary. As a proof of concept, we created different microfluidic devices for various appli-cations, like gradient generation and pneumatic control of fluid. Appealing in its simplicity and rapidness, the newly pro-posed technique could provide an easy-to-use microfluidic platform for front-line researchers with different backgrounds to quickly customize microfluidic devices.