Fabrication Methods and Performance of Low-Permeability Microfluidic Components for a Miniaturized Wearable Drug Delivery System.
ABSTRACT In this paper, we describe low-permeability components of a microfluidic drug delivery system fabricated with versatile micromilling and lamination techniques. The fabrication process uses laminate sheets which are machined using XY milling tables commonly used in the printed-circuit industry. This adaptable platform for polymer microfluidics readily accommodates integration with silicon-based sensors, printed-circuit, and surface-mount technologies. We have used these methods to build components used in a wearable liquid-drug delivery system for in vivo studies. The design, fabrication, and performance of membrane-based fluidic capacitors and manual screw valves provide detailed examples of the capability and limitations of the fabrication method. We demonstrate fluidic capacitances ranging from 0.015 to 0.15 μL/kPa, screw valves with on/off flow ratios greater than 38 000, and a 45× reduction in the aqueous fluid loss rate to the ambient due to permeation through a silicone diaphragm layer.