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print hydrophobic channel for microfluidics

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Perhaps there is a way to use the common laser or inkjet printers, to print very fine lines of hydrophobic channels for microfluidics applications.

Would make for easier experimentation of different microfluidic designs

mofosyne, Dec 22 2015

low tech microfluidics http://science-prac...tech-microfluidics/
Other methods: 1. Wax on paper. 2. paper strips. 3. Scored plastic tape [mofosyne, Dec 22 2015]

Microfluidics https://en.wikipedi.../wiki/Microfluidics
[mofosyne, Dec 22 2015]

Hack: Young Professor Makes Lab-on-a-Chip with Shrinky Dink and Toaster Oven http://www.wired.co...12/macgyver-scienc/
Shrinky Dinks? I wonder if you can print on em with laser printer. [mofosyne, Dec 22 2015]

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       I think it depends on what you mean by "fine" - your resolution on a standard printer would be maybe 50- 100µm.   

       There are certainly ways to "print" patterns of hydrophobic/hydrophilic coatings - this is usually done using photolithography with a photoactivateable (or photocleavable) reagent.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 22 2015


       "At small scales (channel diameters of around 100 nanometers to several hundred micrometers) some interesting and sometimes unintuitive properties appear." --- wikipedia   

       Seems like the laser printer would just skirt along this definition. Being that 50-100um wide channel, would still be pretty small (and within the hundred micrometers range).   

       Obviously not practical for nanofluidics... unless we could print on a shrinkable substrate?
mofosyne, Dec 22 2015

       Yes, there are certainly plenty of µflu devices with 100µm or larger features.   

       However, photomask printing down to a resolution of a few microns on polyester film is very cheap; or you can get chrome-on-glass printing down to 1 micron resolution. And, given the number of devices you can fit on a sheet, it's not a big expense. But then of course you're doing photolithography rather than direct printing of features.   

       Coincidentally, my old PhD supervisor tells me he's come up with a way to make µflu devices very cheaply and very quickly. I'm going to see him mid-January so, if you remember, ask me then and I'll tell you what he's up to.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 22 2015

       [Max] That sounds a bit mean, saying you will spill even before you know the status of the information. Can't you keep secrets?   

       It seems to me that this would still need to come in a home kit containing hydrophobic ink, paper substitute and reagents for the specific experiment needed to be run. (+ printer software)
wjt, Dec 23 2015

       What is this? A cocktails for ants?
mofosyne, Dec 23 2015

       Perforated paper that tears up to stamp sized lickable cocktails.
wjt, Dec 23 2015

       //That sounds a bit mean, saying you will spill even before you know the status of the information. Can't you keep secrets? // Naturally, if it's unpatented and unpublished, my lips are sealed. But I got the impression it's already been through patenting.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 23 2015

       All good then. Sounds like you just the man for the Ad campaign.
wjt, Dec 25 2015

       [update] I'm just back from seeing my old PhD supervisor, who has indeed found a way to make microfluidic devices which is fantastically fast, cheap, simple and flexible.   

       However, he doesn't yet have patents filed, so you'll just have to wait a little longer...
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 15 2016


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