The development of microfluidic chips is emerging in the chromatography field. Miniaturized chromatographic systems potentially yield better separation performance due to shorter diffusion distances and the possibility to minimize extra column dispersion via on-chip integration of multiple functionalities. As an alternative to quartz and glass microchips, high molecular-weight polymers chip substrates, such as cyclic olefin copolymer (COC), have become available for chip prototyping as a low cost thermoplastic substrate with good chemical resistance and capable to withstand high pressures. However, limitations and suboptimal manufacturing currently impair the capacity and value of such devices to be applied to high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
In this study, we aimed for optimization of chip prototyping and development of high-pressure-resistant robust microfluidic chips. First, material selection is discussed and important physicochemical properties of COC are provided. A thermoplastic microfluidic chip fabricated in COC was developed by micromilling a straight channel of 500 µm i.d. × 60 mm in the substrate surface. The device was sealed by means of solvent-vapor assisted bonding. Next, polymer monolithic outlet frits were polymerized and covalently bonded to the pretreated substrate, and a high-pressure slurry packing was optimized to introduce 3 µm octadecylsilyl (ODS) silica particles in the confines of the separation channel. Different connections were studied in order to create a compatible interface between the device and the HPLC and the tolerance of the microfluidic device to withstand high-pressures was extensively assessed. In conclusion, we demonstrate an optimized production procedure to create microfluidic chips to be applied to chromatography.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 20 Sep 2017
EventISSS 2017 - 23rd International Symposium on Separation Science - TU Wien, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 19 Sep 201722 Sep 2017
Conference number: 23


ConferenceISSS 2017 - 23rd International Symposium on Separation Science
Abbreviated titleISSS 2017

ID: 34667189