Thermoplastics in Microfluidics
Thermoplastics are widely used for producing microfluidic chips. These materials appear to be promising due to decreasing costs of chips if produced at amounts of thousands of pieces by injection moulding, i.e. at commercial scale. All thermoplastics demonstrate similar properties: They are solid at room temperature and can be reheated and reshaped several times, showing a good mechanical stability and a low water absorption. In addition, all of them have a good biocompatibility profile. While designing microfluidic chips, the optical properties and chemical resistance have to be considered. For example, it would not be a good idea to desinfect a PMMA chip with isopropanol.
Examples of thermoplastic materials:
– Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)
– Polycarbonates (PC)
– Cyclic olefin copolymer (COC)
– Polystyrene (PS)