Authors Männel, M. J. ; Weigel, N. ; Hauck, N. ; Heida, T. ; Thiele, J.
Title Combining hydrophilic and hydrophobic materials in 3D printing for fabricating microfluidic devices with spatial wettability
Date 01.09.2021
Number 59792
Abstract The fabrication of microfluidic flow cells via projection micro-stereolithography (PµSL) has excited researchers in recent years. However, due to the inherent process properties of most commercial PµSL, microfluidic devices are fabricated in a monolithic fashion with uniform material properties across a flow cell. Yet, the large surface-to-volume ratio in microfluidics demands to tailor microchannel surface properties—particularly in planar microchannel arrangements—with spatial control and micron-scale resolution to form a desired flow profile, e.g., emulsion droplets. Here, the fabrication of planar microfluidic devices by PµSLbased 3D printing with spatial control over surface properties is presented. For that, homemade photopolymer formulations being either hydrophilic or hydrophobic are designed. Adding acrylic acid to a resin containing poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate lowers the contact angle down to 0° against water creating a superhydrophilic surface. By utilizing 1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorodecyl acrylate, a photopolymer formulation allowing for 3D-printing a hydrophobic microchannel surface with a contact angle >120° against water is obtained. Combining these two materials, microfluidic flow cells with spatially defined wettability are 3D-printed for emulsion formation. Finally, the resin vat of the commercial PµSL printer is switched during the printing process for fabricating multimaterial geometries, as exemplarily applied for realizing a hydrophobic-hydrophilic-hydrophobic device for forming O/W/O double emulsions.
Journal Advanced Materials Technologies
Citation Advanced Materials Technologies 6 (2021) 2100094

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