Low-cost fabrication of poly(methyl methacrylate) microchips using disposable gelatin gel templates.

Research paper by Zhi Z Chen, Zhengyin Z Yu, Gang G Chen

Indexed on: 06 May '10Published on: 06 May '10Published in: Talanta


A simple method based on disposable gelatin gel templates has been developed for the low-cost fabrication of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) microfluidic chips. Gelatin was dissolved in glycerol aqueous solution under heat to prepare a thermally reversible impression material. The molten gel was then sandwiched between a glass plate and a SU-8 template bearing negative relief of microstructure. After cooling, the negative SU-8 template could be easily separated from the solidified gelatin gel and a layer of gelatin template bearing positive relief of the microstructure was left on the glass plate. Subsequently, prepolymerized methyl methacrylate molding solution containing a UV-initiator was sandwiched between the gel template and a PMMA plate and was allowed to polymerize under UV light to fabricate PMMA channel plate at room temperature. Complete microchips could be obtained by bonding the channel plates with covers using plasticizer-assisted thermal bonding at 90 degrees C. Gelatin gel template can be mass-produced and will find application in the mass production of PMMA microchips at low cost. The prepared microfluidic microchips have been successfully employed in the capillary electrophoresis analysis of several ions in connection with contactless conductivity detection.