Building Labs on a Chip

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In their second video on microfluidics, the Lutetium Project takes viewers inside the process of creating microfluidic circuits, also known as labs-on-a-chip. When you want to build pipes only a few microns across, you need to use special techniques. As the video shows, manufacturing starts with photolithography, a process used to selectively mask parts of the substrate which are then etched away chemically. This creates a mold that’s later covered in a polymer solution. Once hardened, the polymer is removed from the mold, treated and attached to a glass slide. The result is a tiny fluid circuit that’s only a few square centimeters in total size. To really appreciate the process, check out the video, which helpfully takes you inside the clean room to see the chip manufacturing process firsthand. (Video and image credit: The Lutetium Project)

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