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New material for wafer-scale mass processing of lab-on-chips

Posted: 05 Nov 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:lab-on-chip? photo-patternable adhesive? polydimethylsiloxane? JSR?

Imec has successfully used JSR's innovative photo-patternable adhesive (PA) material for wafer-scale processing of lab-on-chip devices. With PA as a key enabling material, Imec has processed microfluidic cell-sorter devices, merging microheaters and sensors with wafer-scale polymer microfluidics. According to them, PA is a breakthrough material: a good microfluidic channel material and adhesive at the same time, intended for wafer-scale processes and mass production.

Lab-on-chip technology will drive a revolution in medical technology in the years to come. It will enable powerful point-of-care diagnosis and treatment through on-chip molecular synthesis, separation, sensing and detection.

Cell sorter lab-on-chip, wafer processed at Imec using JSR's novel PA

Figure 1: Cell sorter lab-on-chip, wafer processed at Imec using JSR's novel PA.

"PA solves a number of issues that we have with other materials, such as the widely-used PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane, a silicon-based organic polymer)," said Liesbet Lagae, Imec R&D manager of life science technologies. It has all the characteristics we are looking for in a photo-patternable material to create microfluidic channels on silicon wafers, including a good channel definition and biocompatibility. But at the same time, it is an adhesive that allows direct thermal bonding with the cover glass. And unlike PDMS, it allows for wafer-scale processing, which is a prerequisite for industrial mass production."

Imec used PA to process the next generation of its cell sorter lab-on-chip. Integrating on-chip imaging, in-flow cell tomography to identify cells, and bubble jet-flow technology to guide and sort individual cells, the prototype lab-on-chip can process up to 2,000 cells per second. One application envisaged for these ultrafast cell-sorters is the detection of circulating tumor cells in human blood.

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