Whole-Teflon microfluidic chips
Dr. Kangning Ren
Although microfluidics has shown exciting potential, its broad applications are significantly limited by drawbacks of the materials used to make them. In this work, we present a convenient strategy for fabricating whole-Teflon microfluidic chips with integrated valves that show outstanding inertness to various chemicals and extreme resistance against all solvents. Compared with other microfluidic materials [e.g., poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)] the whole-Teflon chip has a few more advantages, such as no absorption of small molecules, little adsorption of biomolecules onto channel walls, and no leaching of residue molecules from the material bulk into the solution in the channel. Various biological cells have been cultured in the whole-Teflon channel. Adherent cells can attach to the channel bottom, spread, and proliferate well in the channels (with similar proliferation rate to the cells in PDMS channels with the same dimensions). The moderately good gas permeability of the Teflon materials makes it suitable to culture cells inside the microchannels for a long time.