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Customisable 3D printed microfluidics for integrated analysis and optimisation

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journal contribution
posted on 05.08.2016 by Tom Monaghan, Matthew Harding, Russell A. Harris, Ross J. Friel, Steven Christie
The formation of smart Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) devices featuring integrated sensing optics is currently hindered by convoluted and expensive manufacturing procedures. In this work, a series of 3D-printed LOC devices were designed and manufactured via stereolithography (SL) in a matter of hours. The spectroscopic performance of a variety of optical fibre combinations were tested, and the optimum path length for performing Ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy determined. The information gained in these trials was then used in a reaction optimisation for the formation of carvone semicarbazone. The production of high resolution surface channels (100–500 μm) means that these devices were capable of handling a wide range of concentrations (9 μM–38 mM), and are ideally suited to both analyte detection and process optimisation. This ability to tailor the chip design and its integrated features as a direct result of the reaction being assessed, at such a low time and cost penalty greatly increases the user's ability to optimise both their device and reaction. As a result of the information gained in this investigation, we are able to report the first instance of a 3D-printed LOC device with fully integrated, in-line monitoring capabilities via the use of embedded optical fibres capable of performing UV-vis spectroscopy directly inside micro channels.


This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) via the Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Additive Manufacturing.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Lab On a Chip: microfluidic and nanotechnologies for chemistry, biology, and bioengineering


MONAGHAN, T. al., 2016. Customisable 3D printed microfluidics for integrated analysis and optimisation. Lab On a Chip, 16 (17), pp. 3362-3373.


© Royal Society of Chemistry


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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Lab On a Chip and the definitive published version is available at






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