Researchers at BYU are the first to 3D-print a viable microfluidic device small enough to be effective at a scale much less than 100 micrometers. Microfluidic devices are tiny chips that can sort out disease biomarkers, cells and other small structures in samples like blood by using microscopic channels incorporated into the devices.
The accomplishment, which is a major breakthrough toward mass-producing the medical diagnostic devices cheaply, is detailed in the latest issue of the academic journal Lab on a Chip. Researchers Greg Nordin, a BYU electrical engineering professor, and Adam Woolley, a BYU chemistry professor, say the key to their innovation was two-fold:
- Building their own 3D printer to print at a much higher resolution
- Using a new, specifically designed, low-cost, custom resin
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