Fabrication and modelling of injection moulded all-polymer capillary microvalves for passive microfluidic control

Kasper Kistrup, Carl Esben Poulsen, Peter Friis Østergaard, Kenneth Brian Haugshøj, Rafael J. Taboryski, Anders Wolff, Mikkel Fougt Hansen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Rapid prototyping is desirable when developing products. One example of such a product is all-polymer, passive flow controlled lab-on-a-chip systems that are preferential when developing low-cost disposable chips for point-of-care use. In this paper we investigate the following aspects of going from rapid prototyping to pilot (mass) production. (1) Fabrication of an all-polymer microfluidic system using a rapid prototyped master insert for injection moulding and ultrasonic welding, including a systematic experimental characterisation of chip featured geometric capillary microvalve test structures. (2) Numerical modelling of the microvalve burst pressures. Numerical modelling of burst pressures is challenging due to its non-equilibrium nature. We have implemented and tested the level-set method modified with a damped driving term and show that the introduction of the damping term leads to numerically robust results with limited computational demands and a low number of iterations. Numerical and simplified analytical results are validated against the experimental results. We find that injection moulding and ultrasonic welding are effective for chip production and that the experimental burst pressures could be estimated with an average accuracy of 5% using the presented numerical model.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
    Issue number12
    Pages (from-to)125007
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Injection moulding
    • Capillary stop
    • Polymer microfluidics
    • Microvalve
    • Ultrasonic bonding
    • Finite element analysis

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