Fabrication of 3D Controlled in vitro Microenvironments
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Microfluidics-based lab-on-a-chips have many advantages, one of which is to provide physiologically relevant settings for cell biology experiments. Thus there is an ever increasing interest in their fabrication. Our goal is to construct three dimensional (3D) Controlled in vitro Microenvironments (CivMs) that mimic the in vivo microenvironments. Here, we present our optimized fabrication method that works for various lab-on-a-chip designs with a wide range of dimensions. The most crucial points are:While using one type of SU-8 photoresist (SU-2075), fine tuning of ramp, dwell time, spin speed, durations of soft bake, UV exposure and development allows fabrication of SU-8 masters with various heights from 40 to 600 μm.Molding PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane) at room temperature for at least two days instead of baking at higher temperatures prevents not only tears and bubbles in PDMS stamps but also cracks in the SU-8 master.3D nature of the CivMs is ensured by keeping the devices inverted during gel polymerization.