[Soft Matter Café] Accurate and rapid 3D printing of microfluidic devices

The use of microfluidics for sample preparation and experiments on X-ray beamlines has seen a steady growth over the last years. In comparison with traditional approaches, microfluidics provides access to shorter length and timescales while using smaller quantities of sample material. The construction of microfluidic devices for use on synchrotron beamlines however is often a time consuming multi step process. Recent developments of 3D printing technology using Digital Light Processing have opened possibilities for rapid fabrication of complex microfluidic devices. We have modified a standard desktop printer to gain better control over the UV resin polymerisation and thus improve the quality of microfluidic devices. We have printed and tested different microfluidic components which were integrated into devices used for crystallisation of a biomineral and proteins. The presentation will explain how the printing method was improved and show the current status of microfluidic developments.

About the speaker: After engineering school in Eindhoven, Peter worked for five years at the High Field Magnet Laboratory of Nijmegen University on the development of cryogenic sample cooling down to 1.2 Kelvin and measurements of resistivity and magnetisation in fields up to 25 Tesla. He came to the Grenoble High Field Magnet Laboratory in 1994 where he worked on dilution refrigeration down to 15 milliKelvin and measurement methods for use in static magnetic fields up to 30 Tesla and pulsed magnetic fields up to 60 Tesla. In 2003 Peter joined the ESRF where he developed amongst others miniature pulsed magnets up to 30 Tesla, different cryogenic systems such as the Dynaflow cryostat and the sample cooling for ID16A and ID32-RIXS, and flash freezing of biological crystals under pressures up to 2kbar. Since 2016 Peter works at the PSCM on the development of 3D printed microfluidics.