MultiLayer - MicroLab (acronym: ML²)
Duration: September 2012 - September 2016
Abstract: In terms of economical and ecologically worthwhile processes, complex Micro-Nano Bio Systems (MNBS) have greatest potential to enhance processes for cell-based assays, chemical analytics and medical diagnostics. However, there are three main challenges for such MNBS to overcome which hamper growth of the market: First, a lack of economical micro-fabrication methods hampers the implementation of lab-on-chip solutions in an industrial scale. Second, inefficient interfaces between laboratory equipment and mircofluidic devices cause a lack of interoperability. Third, there is no integrated manufacturing platform which provides flexible and cheap design and re-design opportunities.
ML2 will overcome these three main challenges by developing a cost efficient production system for new generation MNBS, combining microfluidics, optics and microelectronics. The devices will base on a multi layer concept. The overall function of the smart device will be split in several subfunctions, which can be of fluidic, optical or electronic nature. Multiple foils will transfer the functionality into technical solutions. Economic roll-to-roll processes will be developed for the production of micro fluidic and optic functional layers. In combination with high-end inkjet solutions the layers offer functionalities of printed electronics and bio-chemical functionalisation. Interconnections between the layers realise a fully integrated system.
Thus, ML2 will provide a design and manufacturing platform for the production of sophisticated devices which combine microfluidics, optics and microelectronics. ML2 devices will be compact devices with increased performance at lower prices while providing higher sensitivity compared to existing MNBS. The packaging method and fully automated production will lead to higher reproducibility, increased integration of bioactive components and higher intelligence of the devices.