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IJEETC 2023 Vol.12(1): 81-86
doi: 10.18178/ijeetc.12.1.81-86

Fabrication of PEG-Plasticized Epoxy Resin-Based Microfluidic Chips by Casting over PMMA Mold for PCR Applications: Influence CO2 Laser-Ablation Parameters of Mold

Heba Mansour 1,2, Emad A. Soliman 2, Ahmed M. Fath El-Bab 3, Yoshihisa Matsushita4, and Ahmed L. Abdel-Mawgood1
1. Biotechnology Department, Basic and Applied Sciences (BAS) Institute, Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology (E-JUST), Alexandria, Egypt
2. Department of Polymeric Materials, Advanced Technology and New Material Research Institute, City of Scientific Research and Technological Applications, (SRTA-City), Alexandria, Egypt
3. Mechatronics and Robotics Department, School of Innovative Design Engineering, Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology E-JUST, Alexandria, Egypt
4. Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology, New Borg El-Arab, Egypt

Manuscript received August 8, 2022; revised September 17, 2022; accepted October 30, 2022.

Abstract—Despite dimethyl siloxane (PDMS) being one of the most used microfluidics chips, its micromachining techniques are infeasible for the mass production of commercial devices. This study proposed Epoxy Resin (ER) as a promising, cost-effective alternative to PDMS in lab-on-chip applications, including Polymerase Chain Reactions (PCR). Moreover, a novel, rapid and non-photolithographic approach has been developed for micromachining epoxy microfluidic chips. A new method for fabricating epoxy resin and polyethylene glycol (PEG) hybrid (ER-PEG) microchannels was developed by casting replication over PMMA molds. A PMMA piece was engraved with a CO2 laser in the raster mode to produce the mold for the ER-PEG casting first. A positive mold was fabricated from a polymethyl methacrylic acid (PMMA) sheet (6mm) by CO2 laser ablation. The microfluidic chips with the negative pattern were replicated by casting thermoset epoxy resin onto the micro-machined PMMA mold. The entire process, from device design conception to working device, can be completed in minutes. Herein, to enhance the surface roughness (Ra) of the ablated mold surface, different Distances to Focus (DF) were tried. The low Ra in the mold results in a low Ra in the replica. Also, the performance of ER-PEG in PCR was evaluated to verify the compatibility of the chip material to the PCR test.
Index Terms—Polymethyl Methacrylic Acid (PMMA), CO2 laser ablation, z-axis, positive mold, epoxy resin, casting

Cite: Heba Mansour, Emad A. Soliman, Ahmed M. Fath El-Bab, Yoshihisa Matsushita, and Ahmed L. Abdel-Mawgood, "Fabrication of PEG-Plasticized Epoxy Resin-Based Microfluidic Chips by Casting over PMMA Mold for PCR Applications: Influence CO2 Laser-Ablation Parameters of Mold," International Journal of Electrical and Electronic Engineering & Telecommunications, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 81-86, January 2023. Doi: 10.18178/ijeetc.12.1.81-86

Copyright © 2023 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the article is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.