Mobile monolithic polymer elements for flow control in microfluidic devices

Patent Number: 6,988,402
Issued: 1/24/2006
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: A cast-in-place and lithographically shaped mobile, monolithic polymer element for fluid flow control in microfluidic devices and method of manufacture. Microfluid flow control devices, or microvalves that provide for control of fluid or ionic current flow can be made incorporating a cast-in-place, mobile monolithic polymer element, disposed within a microchannel, and driven by fluid pressure (either liquid or gas) against a retaining or sealing surface. The polymer elements are made by the application of lithographic methods to monomer mixtures formulated in such a way that the polymer will not bond to microchannel walls. The polymer elements can seal against pressures greater than 5000 psi, and have a response time on the order of milliseconds. By the use of energetic radiation it is possible to depolymerize selected regions of the polymer element to form shapes that cannot be produced by conventional lithographic patterning and would be impossible to machine.
Filed: 9/4/2003
Application Number: 10/655,337
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.