Rules of Thumb for Designing $1 Microfluidic Cartridges
If your business plan requires your raw microfluidic chip’s cost to remain under $1 to be competitive with existing solutions, then you need to plan for it early in the product development process. Unfortunately, too often we come across microfluidic device developers who learn heart-breaking, nasty surprises regarding the scalability of their multi-million dollar prototypes.
uFluidix’s production team has put together a few rules of thumb for designing low-cost plastic microfluidic cartridges. If these restrictions are conflicting with your design requirements, then it is recommended to consult with a few lab-on-a-chip manufacturers soon.
Guideline for the design of low-cost plastic microfluidic chips.
- Keep the width of features (channels, chambers, …) greater than 20 um.
- Use no more than two layers including one feature layer sealed by a flat substrate layer.
- Keep aspect ratio (height/width) between 0.5 and 2.
- Keep features only on one side of a layer.
- Avoid hard-to-bond plastics such as olefin copolymers.
- Avoid dissimilar layers.
- Avoid the need to micro alignment of layers.
- Avoid drilled or punched ports. Instead, use side access.