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Materials Today: Proceedings 5 (2018) 21392–21397

ICSEM 2016

Design and Development of Micro-channel using PDMS for

Biomedical Applications
Yadhuraj S Ra, Satheesh Babu Gandlab, Omprakash S.Sb, Sudarshan B.Ga,
Prasanna Kumar S.Ca
Department of Electronics and Instrumentation, RVCE, Bengaluru-560059, India
Department of Interdisciplinary Research Center, RVCE, Bengaluru-560059, India


Micro channels provide the vital breakthrough in many of the applications like drug delivery system. In recent years many of the
drugs consumed orally or through injections are at higher doses compared to the actual need for treating which may intern causes
after effect of the medicine though initially the disease may apparently decreased. Hence, there is a much need for the systems
where we can able to provide results with small sample or fluid volumes. In this work the micro channel of width 100 microns
are developed in clean room environment using photolithography on PDMS(Polydimethylsiloxane) material. PDMS material is a
polymer which is inexpensive and biocompatible. PDMS is permeable to gas and impermeable to liquids. This allows to study
the living cells and to generate flow of fluid through the channels The PDMS material has been studied with the solid of PDMS
developed in which the micro channels are designed and fabricated in clean room environment. The channel consists of inlet,
outlet and eight trapping chambers, which can be used for bio particle separator and micro incubator. These channels are tested
and verified for the flow through the channels and droplets were generated through the trapping channel. The channels show
excellent strength and optimum flow through the channel width of 100 micron and depth of 40 micron.

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Selection and Peer-review under responsibility of INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SMART ENGINEERING

Keywords: Microchannel;PDMS;SU-8;Transmission;Absorption.

1. Introduction

The study of fluidics for applications like drug delivery, sample handling and cell analysis at the micro scale is
called microfluidic. It is a vital part in devices like “lab on chip” portable device. The fluid flow of Nano liter,
microliter and Pico liter volume can be handled by micro channels [1].This device has a huge potential to diagnose

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Selection and Peer-review under responsibility of INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SMART ENGINEERING
Yadhuraj S.R et al.,/ Materials Today: Proceedings 5 (2018) 21392–21397 21393

the state of the patient with very little reagent and sample. Polymers are generally used to fabricate microfluidic
devices, among that Polydimethylsiloxane(PDMS) is simple to prepare, biocompatible, transparent and inexpensive
means for fabricating microfluidic device. Since PDMS is biocompatible it doesn’t cause cell toxicities. PDMS is
gases permeable and water impermeable [3]. Because of gas permeability within the material it will be feasible for
the study of living cells. Any optical detection methods works for PDMS as it has the optical transparency below
230nm wavelength[2]. Other major advantage of PDMS micro-channel is it can be easily fabricated using technique
of replica molding. Since many of the sample analysis techniques required disposable devices, replica molding
enables to fabricate simple and economical disposable micro channel. PDMS materials also have fine reversible
bonding for various surfaces like glass, silicon and polymer. Plasma cleaner and techniques like corona discharge
can be used for realizing reversible bonding. Micro scale biochemical analysis and synthesis is the vital role of
micro channels. Microchips with micro channels are easy to fabricate with molding for electrophoretic. Simple glass
chips are enough for sealing, further no need for elaborate bonding processes. Various applications can be
performed using micro channels like monitoring valving capability, capillary electrophoresis, microfluidic network,
multilayered structures and others. This work focuses on PDMS micro channels are fabricated and tested for the
flow in the channels.

2. Experiment

The simple schematic of microchannel design is as shown in Fig.1. Fabrication steps of PDMS micro channels are
as shown in Fig.2. PDMS is fabricated by simple molding processes. The master mold was prepared using silicon
wafer; later the PDMS was cured to form the micro channels. Later the micro channel is peeled from the master and
is bonded on the glass substrate.

Fig.1 Schematic of Micro channel Design [7]

Fig.2 Fabrication Process of PDMS micro channel [2].

21394 Yadhuraj S.R et al.,/ Materials Today: Proceedings 5 (2018) 21392–21397

2.1 Substrate Preparation

N or P type four inch single side polished wafer of 100 orientations is taken. The wafer is cleaned with RCA 1 and
RCA 2 cleaning. The cleaning should be carried on to eliminate organic impurities and native oxide on silicon
2.2 SU-8 Spin coating and soft bake
Spin coat the SU-8 photo resist on the wafer to form a layer of around 80um thick. Initially the spin coated is spine
at 500 rpm for 5 seconds with acceleration of 1000rpm/sec. Then spin at 3000rpm for 45 second with acceleration of
3000rpm/sec. Soft bake the wafer at 65oC for 3 minute and then 95oC for 9 minutes.
2.3 SU-8 exposure and post exposure bake
Photomask was prepared for the channel design. Using the photomask, the SU-8 photoresist is exposed to UV light
through a photo mask for 6.5 sec at 55mJ/cm2 using mask alighner. After UV patterning, we conduct post baked
process, using two steps 65oC and 90oC.
2.4 Development, Rinse and Dry.
After post baked process we are going to develop this photoresist by immersing the wafer with SU-8 developer for 7
minute. Spray the developed wafer with isopropyl alcohol(IPA). Airs dry with filtered and pressurized nitrogen. An
80um thick SU-8 mold representing the channel design.
2.5 Casting PDMS replica on the substrate
Cast PDMS elastomer on the SU-8 mold. Elastomer is a mixture of PDMS polymer and curing agent a weight ratio
of 10:1. Adequately stir the mixture and degas under a vacuum for 40 minutes. Pour the degassed mixture on to the
SU-8 mold and bake it at 65oC for 4 hours. Peel of the PDMS replica from the SU-8 mold, cut the PDMS replica in
to pieces and punch the inlet/outlet holes.
2.6 Bonding the PDMS replica with glass slide
Clean the PDMS piece with the scotch tape to remove the derbies. Treat the surface of the PDMS piece and a glass
slide using oxygen plasma at 300 m torr for 45 sec. Then we bond the two plasma treated surfaces together to form a
sealed microfluidic device.

3. Results

The fabricated PDMS based microchannel bonded with glass slide is as shown in Fig.3. Fabricated PDMS is studied
with FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) for absorption and transmission, XRD(X-Ray Diffraction),
Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy also carried out to study the transmission and absorption in UV and Visible region.
The resultant plots obtained are recorded below. The fabricated micro channel with 1mm single channel with inlets
and outlets, 8 channels further dividing the inlet channel of 100um size width and 40um size depth. The droplets
formation was tested using the micropipette at the inlet and the flow was observed using microscope of 4x lens and
high resolution camera connected to the monitor. The deionized water was passed through the inlet channel and the
droplet formations were observed at the smaller micro channels.

Fig.3 Fabricated Micro channel on PDMS and bonded with glass slide
Yadhuraj S.R et al.,/ Materials Today: Proceedings 5 (2018) 21392–21397 21395




775.74cm-1, 57.81%T

608.67cm-1, 65.45%T

70 901.66cm-1, 52.76%T



4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 600
Fig.4 Transmission Study of PDMS material in Infrared region

0.28 901.66cm-1, 0.28A

775.74cm-1, 0.24A
0.24 608.67cm-1, 0.18A

4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 600
Fig.5 Absorption Study of PDMS material in Infrared region

The transmission in infrared region is around 98 percent and falls only after 1800 wavenumber as seen in fig.4. The
maximum absorption is observed at 0.28 coefficients, and in the wave number range of 800-600 wave number as
seen in fig.5. Stretching at this region denotes the presence of -CH2 and -CH3 bonds.
21396 Yadhuraj S.R et al.,/ Materials Today: Proceedings 5 (2018) 21392–21397

Transmission Spectra of UV-Visible




Transmission % 40


0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000

Fig.6 UV Visible Transmission Spectra

The transmission and absorption spectrum is obtained from 300nm-2500nm wavelength. The transmission range is
about 92 % as depicted from fig.6. The transparency of the polymer is once more proved through transmission

Absorption Spectra of UV-Visible

Absorption %
0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000

Fig.7 UV Visible Transmission Spectra

The absorption spectrum as show in fig.7 shows the material has very less absorption, it enables the micro channels
to use as micro reactors with the chemicals that are UV sensitive, initiates the reaction when UV light is splashed on
the chemical.
The X-ray Diffraction was carried out with scan range from 5 to 35 degrees, at 40kV voltage and current of 30mA
with scan speed of 2 degrees per minute. The strongest peak obtained at 12.16 degrees of two thetha, depicted as in
Yadhuraj S.R et al.,/ Materials Today: Proceedings 5 (2018) 21392–21397 21397

Fig.8 XRD Analysis of PDMS material

The corresponding “d” for XRD obtained is 4.50285 Ao.


The PDMS had wide range of application in biomedical as it is biocompatible and transparent. In this work the
microfluidic channel of width 100um and depth of 40um is fabricated and flow has been tested. The PDMS material
used to fabricate micro channel is characterized with UV spectroscopy, FTIR spectroscopy and XRD. Further it can
be used for various biomedical applications like droplet formations, micro reactors and electrophoretic separation
device, which are the components of lab on chip module.


We thank for the support extended by IISc, CeNSe Bengaluru, INUP and RVCE, who gave us generous access
for their machinery for the work undertaken by us.


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