Dolomite's 3D Printer for microfluidic prototyping demo

Dolomite, specialists in microfluidics innovation, has unveiled its unique Fluidic Factory, the first commercially available 3D printer for sealed microfluidic devices, which utilises cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) from TOPAS Advanced Polymers

The 3D fluidic printer will be demonstrated at Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West 2018 (Booth #666), which runs 6–8 February, in Anaheim, California.

“We gave careful consideration to a range of materials for our breakthrough 3D fluidics printer and selected TOPAS COC due to the unique properties and benefits it offers over other polymers, making it ideal for microfluidics in biology and medical environments,” said Dr Omar Jina, Chief Commercial Officer at Dolomite.

“It is the polymer most frequently requested by biologists and has won acceptance in the microfluidics industry.”

The Fluidic Factory is designed for ultimate ease of use, enabling rapid prototyping of fluidically sealed devices such as chips, sensor cartridges, fluid manifolds, valves, connectors and medical devices.

The 3D printer is designed for use with TOPAS 8007S-04, a standard injection moulding grade for high-performance medical and optical applications.

TOPAS COC is recognised as the industry standard in microfluidics and diagnostics because of its clarity, purity, superior chemical resistance and UV transparency, according to Timothy Kneale, President of TOPAS Advanced Polymers.

The first commercially available 3D printer for fluidically sealed devices offers rapid, easy and reliable printing of microfluidic devices at an economical cost, according to Dolomite Microfluidics.

The Fluidic Factory features intelligent software and innovative hardware, which ensures reliable sealing of fluidic paths, allowing the creation of precise channel geometries and various features not possible using etching, embossing, moulding or machining techniques.

Users can choose a design from the selection in the Fluidic Factory's Design Library or create and print their own unique device using virtually any CAD software.

With this complete design flexibility, the Fluidic Factory is ideal for a wide range of applications, including organ-on-a-chip, point-of-care diagnostics, drug development, education, chemical synthesis, and analytical and biomedical assays.

With the exceptional (92%) clarity and mould detail of TOPAS COC, well counts are maximised, flow channels can be incorporated and analyses are optimised. Due to its ultra-high purity, TOPAS COC has lower leachables and extractables than competing materials, resulting in the most reliable and repeatable results.

The inert nature of the material prevents interference with reactions and analyses. Other important features include the best available UV transparency of any plastic and low autofluorescence.

By utilising TOPAS 8007S-04, manufacturers can prototype and start small-scale production with the Fluidic Factory and seamlessly ramp up to commercial-scale injection moulding without changing plastic materials. The lightweight unit is compact and quiet and ideal for benchtop or desktop use.

The Fluidic Factory will run continuously at MD&M West, producing a variety of microfluidic demonstration parts.