The technology of microfluidic chips is one of the highest priority areas for the development of modern engineering in general and medical technology in particular. Representing small plastic microchips with microchannels integrated into their surface for receiving and analyzing fluids, they can be used as special one-time diagnostic tools in applied medicine, allowing you to analyze the composition of blood, urine and other biological fluids. That is why a team of scientists from the University of Maryland decided to contribute to the environmental improvement of the technology presented.
Firstly, the main attention of the team of scientists was directed to the possibility of replacing plastic with some other material that is more environmentally friendly. And secondly, they intended to slightly improve the overall design of this development by proposing a new concept of microfluidic channels on the layer surface. As a result, they managed to create a whole alternative – they invented microfluidic chips for diagnostics based on soft birch, which, surprisingly, served as really excellent material for these purposes.
The plywood microfluidic channels, among other things, were also improved by integrating laser technology and sequential layering technology, which ultimately made it possible to make the material more reliable, solid and resistant to various environmental factors. In addition, the researchers decided to conduct an experiment with a Teflon layer, which would play the role of thickener and insulator of the temperature flow – in the end, it was decided to leave it in the final development.
Thus, experts were able to create something really interesting and unusual, something that in the near future will be able to replace most of the third-party options and proposals for microfluidic chips. Given the fact that this area in medical and robotic engineering is not developing very fast, it can be assumed that such a scientific base will most likely become the main one.