Microfluidic devices allow for the manipulation of fluids, particles, cells, micro-sized organs or organisms in channels ranging from the nano to submillimeter scales. A rapid increase in the use of this technology in the biological sciences has prompted a need for methods that are accessible to a wide range of research groups.
Current fabrication standards, such as PDMS bonding, require expensive and time consuming lithographic and bonding techniques.
A viable alternative is the use of equipment and materials that are easily affordable, require minimal expertise and allow for the rapid iteration of designs. In this work we describe a protocol for designing and producing PET-laminates (PETLs), microfluidic devices that are inexpensive, easy to fabricate, and consume significantly less time to generate than other approaches to microfluidics technology.
They consist of thermally bonded film sheets, in which channels and other features are defined using a craft cutter. PETLs solve field-specific technical challenges while dramatically reducing obstacles to adoption.
This approach facilitates the accessibility of microfluidics devices in both research and educational settings, providing a reliable platform for new methods of inquiry.