Low-cost Rapid Prototyping of Flexible Microfluidic Devices

The LabOnTheCheap blog came about as a result of explaining to various groups that we made great microfluidic chambers using parafilm with a cheap $150 knife printer that normally is used for cutting out stickers in arts and crafts projects, and then we sealed the microfluidic device with either nail-polish or cheap UV glue cured by a $10 UV nail dryer. With this website, all I have to do is send someone the link to the website and they can read about the procedure themselves.

But we’ve never really had much of a detailed write-up on the procedure on this website, so we were pretty excited when we came across this 2009 paper by Po Ki Yuen and Vasiliy N. Goral that details the procedure. We moved away from double sided tape for many applications and replaced it with parafilm melted and pressed gently onto glass at 65 C as we find the tape can have some unwanted interactions with fluid samples, but the idea is well spelled out here and we like to promote this concept again and again.