Rapid Prototyping of Microfluidics

ALine's platform technology provides customized microfluidic solutions with increased functionality and faster turnaround time

August 31, 2010 - Rapid prototyping, or the ability to make functional prototypes from computer aided designs, offers a unique approach in the development of microfluidics-based, single-use products for Point-of-Care applications. Traditional methods, such as injection molding, require expensive tooling, a longer turnaround time, and a commitment to a design that is often poorly understood.

ALine’s no-tool fabrication platform, Polymer Laminate Technology (PLT) addresses many of the industry’s needs, offering rapid prototyping in a variety of product-relevant materials.  PLT was 99043-4developed to address the unique requirements of microfluidic, lab-on-a-chip devices, where surface area to volume is high, fluid movement is typically laminar, functional elements such a pumps, filters, and on-board valves are desirable, and the need for biocompatibility paramount.

At the recent Bio Detection Technology Conference in Washington, DC, Dr. Levine explained the fundamentals of PLT; ”It is a computer automated method for creating complex fluid circuits by cutting features in different  layers or sheets.  The layers are then stacked, aligned and bonded using pressure sensitive or low temperature thermal bond adhesives in a batch fabrication process. Individual devices are then diced from the bonded stack of materials. The process is scalable to hundreds of thousands of parts per year, akin to printed circuit board manufacture."

An additional advantage of this fabrication approach is that PLT devices interface readily to other components such as printed circuit boards, silicon, glass and metal sensing elements, and injection molded components for reagent containment or sample introduction.

PLT produces high quality devices with a proven track record of success for in vitro diagnostic product development from early proof of concept through clinical trials and product launch.

Josh Molho from Caliper Life Sciences is just one example of a customer that has seen success using ALine's technology.  "I want to thank [ALine] for being a great vendor for us this year. Just today I got an email from our CEO congratulating us on the great response we got from a potential customer after processing a sample for them using one of [ALine's] prototypes. We’ve still got a lot of work to do on this project but we made great progress this year in large part because of ALine."

Visit us at www.alineinc.com to learn how ALine can provide you with a solution to support your development needs. ALine was honored as the supplier to the 2009 MDEA gold award winner in the In Vitro Diagnostics category.