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Microfluidic Fabrication Process

Microfluidic Fabrication Process

A novel low cost technology in development

Technology Overview:

DIT aims to exploit the photolithography process to fabricate microfluidic biosensor devices using photocurable sol-gel materials. The investigators have developed the materials and processes since early work published in 2005.

The process employs low cost sol-gel materials and the photolithography process, widely used in the semi-conductor industry. This versatile technology enables fabrication of extremely fine microchannels with high resolution. Straight channels and complex serpentine channel patterns are possible (Figure 1).

The sol-gel materials may be modified or surfacefunctionalised to increase hydrophilicity, promoting rapid liquid flow throughout the microfluidic devices. Other microfluidic structures such as micropillars may be fabricated, to promote fluid flow via capillary wicking.

Sol-gel chemistry is compatible with a wide range of biosensing mechanisms. Hydrophobic drugs, metabolites and other reagents may be absorbed into the device’s material. A recent proof-ofconcept study by the investigators fabricated a device with multiple sensor spots.


Key Advantages:

  • Low Cost – the photocurable sol-gel technology is compatible with standard photolithography processes.
  • High resolution – extremely fine microchannels with complex geometries may be fabricated. Smaller reagent and analyte volumes thus required.
  • Multianalyte platform – multiple analytes may be detected, eliminating the need for several conventional biosensors.
  • Hydrophilicity – superior fluid flow via tuneable sol-gel chemistry, a range of surface functionalisation options and microfluidic structures. Potentially pump-free operation!
  • Versatile sol-gel chemistry –compatible with a wide range of biosensing mechanisms and functionalisation treatments.



Dublin Institute of Technology



Dr. Mohamed Oubaha Mohamed,

Ms. Mary O’ Sullivan,

Dr. Brendan Duffy.


Commercial Contact:

Katrina Bradley

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