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Microfabricated single-cell capture and DNA stretching devices have been produced by
injection molding. The fabrication scheme employed deep reactive ion etching in a silicon
substrate, electroplating in nickel and molding in cyclic olefin polymer. This work proposes
technical solutions to fabrication challenges associated with chip sealing and demolding of
polymer high-volume replication methods. UV-assisted thermal bonding was found to ensure a
strong seal of the microstructures in the molded part without altering the geometry of the
channels. In the DNA stretching device, a low aspect ratio nanoslit (1/200) connecting two
larger micro-channels was used to stretch a 168.5 kbp DNA molecule, while in the other
device single-HeLa cells were captured against a micro-aperture connecting two larger
microfluidic channels. Different dry etching processes have been investigated for the master
origination of the cell-capture device. The combination of a modified Bosch process and an
isotropic polysilicon etch was found to ensure the ease of demolding by resulting in slightly
positively tapered sidewalls with negligible undercut at the mask interface.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2012
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ID: 12301009