Microfluidic Systems

Our Service

In medicine and biotechnology, laser technology makes a multitude of analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic applications possible. Since laser-based optical measuring and processing processes do not touch the objects they measure, they are ideal tools, in particular when used under sterile and highly selective conditions. They are suitable both for the production of appropriate instruments for medical technology as well as for diagnosis itself.

Fraunhofer ILT develops microfluidic structures and systems for customized applications. With laser-based processes, materials can be characterized, selectively modified on the surfaces or precisely machined on the inside. Not only can plastic, ceramics or silicon be processed, but also glass, metals or hybrid material combinations. For example, the institute uses and continues to develop Selective Laser-Induced Etching (SLE) to produce precise microchannels, holes and cuts in, for example, transparent components made out of chemically resistant materials such as fused silica, borosilicate glass, sapphire and ruby. Among other things, microfluidic systems with such channels are used in lab-on-a-chip solutions, which enable fast multiplex diagnostics. The micrometer-fine structures can be produced directly from 3D CAD data. In addition, the systems can be sealed by laser radiation with little mechanical or thermal influence.

The services offered encompass component development, the rapid production of prototypes for design validation, the development and implementation of assembly and connection techniques, technical function tests and developments for quality control as well as individual consulting.

Microfluidics for the analysis of liquid samples.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Microfluidics for the analysis of liquid samples.

Sorting chip for analyzing and isolating cells in a blood sample.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Sorting chip for analyzing and isolating cells in a blood sample.

Microfluidic cell sorter in fused silica.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Microfluidic cell sorter in fused silica.

Design of the Microfluidic System

  • Design of microfluidic structures suitable for manufacturing

Material Selection and Modification

  • Selection of the most suitable materials (polymers, silicon, glass, ceramic, metal or hybrid systems)
  • Surface modifications such as hydrophobic, hydrophilic surfaces and surface micro-structuring

Prototype Development

  • Production of microfluidic prototype systems in the shortest amount of time
  • Rapid manufacturing inserts for high precision microinjection molding

Joining and Assembly

  • Sealing of microfluidic systems with low mechanical or thermal damage

Serial Production of Microfluidic Systems

  • Manufacturing of microfluidic systems in corresponding chemical and bio-medical laboratories
  • Development and construction of turnkey production machines

Functional Tests and Quality Assurance

  • Air and liquid tightness tests
  • Tensile tests

Brochures

Our brochures offer a quick view onto the service portfolio “Microfluidic Systems“.

 

Brochure “Lasers in Plastics Technology“

Branches

Laser technology can solve demanding tasks in many different industries. Whether as a tool in automotive production, as measuring equipment in the environmental sector, as a diagnostic or therapeutic instrument in medical technology or as a communication medium in space technology, the laser provides multiple uses with high productivity and high efficiency.

Read up about the innovations of the Fraunhofer ILT in a few selected industries and convince yourself!

Publications

Meineke, G., Flitsch, D., Lenenbach, A., Noll, R.: 
Fluorescence sensors for parallel measurements in multichannel microfluidic devices covering the full channel cross sections

Proc. SPIE 8615, 86151C-1 (7 S.) (2013)

T. Sultana, G. L. Georgiev, R. J. Baird, G. W. Auner, G. Newaz, R. Patwa, H. J. Herfurth
Study of two different thin film coating methods in transmission laser micro-joining of thin Ti-film coated glass and polyimide for biomedical applications
J. Mech. Behav. Biomed. Mat.
2, 237-242 (2009)