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Coventry, United Kingdom

Attia U.M.,Manufacturing Technology Center Ltd | Marson S.,Xaar Ltd
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture | Year: 2014

Micro-manufacturing is a fast developing area due to the increasing demand for components and systems of high precision and small dimensions. A number of challenges are yet to be overcome before the full potential of such techniques is realised. Examples of such challenges include limitations in component geometry, material selection and suitability for mass production. Some micro-manufacturing techniques are still at early development stages, while other techniques are at higher stage of manufacturing readiness level but require adaptation in part design or manufacturing procedure to overcome such limitations. This article presents a case study, where the design of a micro-scale, biomedical device is adapted for functionality and manufacturability by a high-volume micro-fabrication technique. Investigations are described towards a disposable three-dimensional, polymer-based device for the separation of blood cells and plasma. The importance of attempting a three-dimensional device design and fabrication route was to take advantage of the highthroughput per unit volume that such systems can, in principle, allow. The importance of a micro-moulding fabrication route was to allow such blood-containing devices to be cheaply manufactured for disposability. Initial device tests showed separation efficiency up to approximately 80% with diluted blood samples. The produced prototype indicated that the process flow was suitable for high-volume fabrication of three-dimensional microfluidics. © IMechE 2013. Source

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