Evaluation of micro-mechanical manufacturing processes for micro-fluidic devices
Jáuregui Santiago, Ana Laura
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The aim of this thesis is focused on the evaluation of different micro-mechanical technologies such as: Wire Electro-Discharge Machining/Sandblasting, Abrasive Water Jet and Micro-End Milling, for the fabrication of micro-fluidic devices, whose main components are miniaturized geometries known as micro-channels. In addition, Lithography even is not considered as a mechanical process is also evaluated against the other processes because is commonly used for the fabrication of small features. The micro-fluidic devices find their field of application in areas such as Medicine or Biotechnology, in which they are useful for dosifying drugs to the human body, analyze DNA or for cultivating cells. The materials that are used for the prototyping in each technology are: PDMS (Polydimethylsiloxane) for Lithography, cooper for H/ED/W/sandblasting, aluminum for Abrasive Water Jet and acrylic for Micro-End Milling. The evaluation consists in a comprehensive study of surface quality and topography, made with the help of advanced contact and non-contact devices over each prototype manufactured. Also economical considerations have been taken into account in order to choose the most appropriate manufacturing process for the prototyping of micro-fluidic devices.