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04/04/2017 MoLife Research Seminar: Dr. Bastian Rapp

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 13:00
Lecture Hall of Research II


MoLife Research Seminar presented by:

Dr. Bastian Rapp, NeptunLab, Institute of Microstructure Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Title of the talk:

Rapid Prototyping in Microfluidics: New Perspective by New Materials


Microfluidics is a very important discipline for many disciplines including, among others, synthetic and analytical chemistry, biochemistry and biology. However, the design of most microfluidic systems has remained largely unchanged since the introduction of soft lithography. In academia, microfluidic systems made from polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) have become the de-facto standard. These are usually created in a replication process from a photolithographically structured layer of photoresist.

However, in many applications fast concept-to-chip intervals are required for efficient experimental throughput and optimization. This is where 3D printing and additive manufacturing (AM) can make a significant contribution. We recently introduced “Computer Aided Microfluidics (CAMF)” a process that allows the conversion of digital chip layout to a testable physical structure in less than a day [1]. Using digital models allows a streamlined manufacturing process with digital models first being evaluated by numerical simulation before being transferred to a physical structure in a one-step manufacturing process. We recently expanded the material choice for CAMF to include glass [2] (which is created by sintering from photocurable glass prepolymers) and thermoplasts, most notably polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) for which we created photostructurable precursors. This allows the rapid manufacturing of microfluidic systems in materials which have a long history in microfluidics and have been thoroughly investigated.

We will demonstrate the advantages of this prototyping method and its potential use in many aspects of life sciences and analytics.

Keywords: microfluidics, materials, additive manufacturing, 3D printing


[1] A. Waldbaur, P. Hettich, B. Carneiro, B. E. Rapp: “Computer Aided Microfluidics (CAMF) - From Digital 3D-CAD Models to Physical Structures within a Day”, Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, 15, 625-635, 2013.

[2] F. Kotz, K. Plewa, W. Bauer, N. Schneider, N. Keller, T. Nargang, D. Helmer, K. Sachsenheimer, M. Schäfer, M. Worgull, C. Greiner, C. Richter, B. E. Rapp: “Liquid Glass: A Facile Soft Replication Method for Structuring Glass”, Advanced Materials, 28, 23, 4646, 2016. 

Further information / host: Prof. Dr. Sebastian Springer, Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Focus Area: Health - Life Sciences & Chemistry, Email:  s.springer [at], Tel: +49 421 200-324 - Link to Homepage: