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Research Papers

Slump Molding of Microchannel Arrays in Soda-Lime Glass for Bioanalytical Device Development

[+] Author and Article Information
Richard E. Billo

Department of Computer Science
and Engineering,
University of Notre Dame,
Notre Dame, IN 46556
e-mail: rbillo@nd.edu

Paul A. Wilson

AT&T,
208 S. Akard Street, Suite 110,
Dallas, TX 75202
e-mail: paulwilson05@gmail.com

John W. Priest

Department of Industrial and Manufacturing
Systems Engineering,
University of Texas at Arlington,
Arlington, TX 76019
e-mail: jpriest@uta.edu

Mario Romero-Ortega

Department of Bioengineering,
University of Texas at Dallas,
Richardson, TX 75080
e-mail: Mario.Romero-Ortega@utdallas.edu

Shannon R. Brunskill

Brunskill Studios, Inc.,
9661 Lynbrook Drive,
Dallas, TX 75238
e-mail: shannonbrunskill@gmail.com

David Keens

Art and Art History Department,
University of Texas at Arlington,
Arlington, TX 76019
e-mail: david@davidkeens.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MICRO- AND NANO-MANUFACTURING. Manuscript received January 29, 2014; final manuscript received August 28, 2014; published online September 26, 2014. Assoc. Editor: John P. Coulter.

J. Micro Nano-Manuf 2(4), 041006 (Sep 26, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: JMNM-14-1005; doi: 10.1115/1.4028487 History: Received January 29, 2014; Revised August 28, 2014

A slump molding process was developed to place microchannel geometries in a soda-lime glass substrate for a lab-on-chip bioanalytical device. The process was developed to overcome the biological and chemical reactivity associated with current polymer lab-on-a-chip substrates, and as an alternative to using more expensive glass material. A high speed micro mill and UV laser micromachining center were used to fabricate the negative geometries in the graphite mold material that was used. The slumping process of the soda-lime glass was done using a glass kiln. Microchannel dimensions were in the mesa scale range of 50 μm width × 10 μm depth. The heating schedule for slump molding of the soda-lime glass to take its final shape to these dimensions was determined and documented. The functionality of the slumping process and resultant soda-lime glass device was validated through murine nerve tissue experiments conducted through the bioanalytical device that was developed. The research represented a novel use of slump molding, a process traditionally known for producing artistic works for: (a) embossing engineered microchannels and (b) reliably processing a soda-lime glass substrate, a material known to be difficult to work with due to its poor physical properties.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Lab-on-a-chip microfluidic device design

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Fig. 2

Assembled soda-lime glass device design

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Fig. 3

Slumping process for glass microchannels. (a) Preformed glass slide is placed over the mold, (b) mold and glass are heated in a kiln. As glass melts, it slumps over protrusions in the mold, and (c) resultant glass slide with microchannels.

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Fig. 4

Oxide transferred from a graphite mold to soda-lime glass during a firing. Oxides severely reduce clarity in glass.

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Fig. 5

Outgassing trapped as bubbles resulting from molding soda-lime glass in a vacuum hot press

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Fig. 6

Partially machined graphite mold depicting the large pocket and the unmachined area for microchannels

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Fig. 7

Laser micromachined microchannel protrusions on SFG-2 graphite mold

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Fig. 8

Resultant glass slide with microchannels and wells

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Fig. 9

SEM images of slump molded microchannels in soda-lime glass

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Fig. 10

Wells with connecting microchannels

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Fig. 11

Directed axon growth through microchannels

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