Materials and Fabrication Techniques for Nano- and Microfluidic Devices
Published:24 Oct 2014
The past few decades has witnessed an intensive drive in the development of microfluidic technologies and devices that have tremendous applications in diverse sectors from defence to healthcare. Entire analytical protocols, including sample pretreatment, sample/reagent manipulation, separation, reaction, and detection can be performed significantly quicker on these miniaturised and compact devices. A broad range of existing and new materials from silicon, glass, polymers, and paper have been demonstrated as viable compatible materials for creating advanced and low-cost microfluidic devices, with embedded micrometre-sized elements, to provide unique and often combined functionalities for microfluidic processing. Based on the category of materials, fabrication techniques and examples of applications will be discussed in this chapter. Factors influencing the choice of material, cost of processing, and suitability of specific applications are included. The integration of microfluidic devices and detection technologies suggests a solid understanding of fabrication procedures and their limitations is essential to the development of commercial microfluidic devices.