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  • A combined 3D printing/CNC micro-milling method to fabricate a large-scale microfluidic device with the small size 3D architectures: an application for tumor spheroid production.

A combined 3D printing/CNC micro-milling method to fabricate a large-scale microfluidic device with the small size 3D architectures: an application for tumor spheroid production.

Scientific reports (2020-12-19)
Ebrahim Behroodi, Hamid Latifi, Zeinab Bagheri, Esra Ermis, Shabnam Roshani, Mohammadreza Salehi Moghaddam
ABSTRACT

The fabrication of a large-scale microfluidic mold with 3D microstructures for manufacturing of the conical microwell chip using a combined projection micro-stereolithography (PµSL) 3D printing/CNC micro-milling method for tumor spheroid formation is presented. The PµSL technique is known as the most promising method of manufacturing microfluidic chips due to the possibility of creating complex three-dimensional microstructures with high resolution in the range of several micrometers. The purpose of applying the proposed method is to investigate the influence of microwell depths on the formation of tumor spheroids. In the conventional methods, the construction of three-dimensional microstructures and multi-height chips is difficult, time-consuming, and is performed using a multi-step lithography process. Microwell depth is an essential parameter for microwell design since it directly affects the shear stress of the fluid flow and the diffusion of nutrients, respiratory gases, and growth factors. In this study, a chip was made with microwells of different depth varying from 100 to 500 µm. The mold of the microwell section is printed by the lab-made PµSL printer with 6 and 1 µm lateral and vertical resolutions. Other parts of the mold, such as the main chamber and micro-channels, were manufactured using the CNC micro-milling method. Finally, different parts of the master mold were assembled and used for PDMS casting. The proposed technique drastically simplifies the fabrication and rapid prototyping of large-scale microfluidic devices with high-resolution microstructures by combining 3D printing with the CNC micro-milling method.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Acridine Orange hydrochloride solution, 10 mg/mL in H2O
Sigma-Aldrich
1,6-Hexanediol diacrylate, technical grade, 80%