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Professors 3D-print First Truly Microfluidic “Lab on a Chip” Device

1708-21 092 1708-21 Greg Nordin 3D Printer Professor Greg Nordin and PHD student Hua Gong work with a 3D microfluidic printer. August 3, 2017 Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU © BYU PHOTO 2017 All Rights Reserved (801)422-7322
Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU

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.

Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU

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

Read more here.