Holistic digital-to-physical prototyping and production pilot for microfluidic MEMS
Project Type : H2020
Project Topic Code : PILOTS-04-2017
Starting Date : 2017-11-01
Ending Date : 2020-10-31
Participant No. : 2 Countries No : 2
The project aims at a holistic new design strategy, coordinated pilot lines and business model for the prototyping, fabrication and commercialization of polymer-based microfluidic systems. It stems from the recognition that a microfluidic chip is a key part of a microfluidic MEMS, but only a part. Many limitations to fast prototyping, industrialization and ultimate performances lie not in the chip itself, but in the world-to-chip connections and integration of multiple external components. We shall address in a single strategy the streamlined construction of whole microfluidic systems, starting from existing pilot lines in injection moulding, 3D printing and instrument construction. This will specific innovations. First, the resolution of 3D printing will be increased by a factor at least 10, down to 1~3µm, with a throughput 10 to 100x higher than that of current high resolution 3D printing machines, to support the flexible production of chips with complex 3D architectures. New soft, bio, environment-friendly and/or active materials will be integrated in the production chain using a technology patented by the partners. Large-scale markets requiring mass production at the lowest cost will be addressed by a fully integrated pilot line, streamlining injection moulding of raw chips, reagents and components integration, sealing and quality control. Inter-compatibility between 3D printing and injection moulding, regarding architectures and materials, will be developed to accelerate the prototype to product value chain. After development and upscaling, the technology will be demonstrated and qualified in operational environment by end-users with lab-on-chip applications in health (cancer diagnosis, organ-on chip) and environment (water control). Partners jointly have the production lines onto which the project’s innovation will be readily integrated, helping microfluidics to become a major component of the 4th industrial revolution.