Automated CNC processing of complex and high-aspect-ratio microfluidic devices for biomedical applications
Disposable microfluidic devices, also known as labs-on-a-chip, made out of plastic materials have seen increasing applications in chemical and biomedical analysis. In most applications, microfluidic devices usually incorporate small channels and chambers for micro sized dimensions, using heights between a few hundred to a few micrometers. Currently, manufacturing processes have been established to create these sub-millimeter deep features. However, in other applications, higher (or deeper) features of a few millimeters may be needed. Using the traditional microfabrication methods for such millimeter range features could be inefficient, low-quality and very time consuming. As a result, the internship project aims to study existing computer-aided milling and laser technologies, applying such technologies to the fabrication of components that are too tall to be processed by microfabrication, and develop assembling processes to install individually microfabricated parts and milled or laser processed parts together for a complete microfluidic device.