Coat & Close

Recently we developed a new, proprietary nanocoating process called Coat & Close, which allows fabrication of bonded microfluidic devices with hydrophilic, antifouling channels, enabling capillary flow control and autonomous operation.

A revolutionary approach to a persistent problem in microfluidics

Thermoplastic polymers are commonly used for manufacturing microfluidic biochips. However, proteins tend to adsorb to these materials, causing biofouling. Moreover, all common thermoplastics require hydrophilic surface modification to facilitate passive (capillary) flow of biological liquids through the chip. These problems can be overcome by applying a hydrophilic, antifouling coating to the channel surface.

An additional challenge is the compatibility of the coating process with the bonding of the top and bottom parts of the microfluidic chip. If the coating is applied before bonding, the bonding process may damage the coating, or the presence of the coating may affect the bond strength. And if bonding is done first, the coating must be applied in a closed microchannel, which is highly disadvantageous in terms of (scalable) manufacturability.

The fast and simple Coat & Close process prevents compatibility issues between coating and bonding, improves the manufacturability, and facilitates the commercialization of microfluidic devices.

The Coat & Close process is compatible with biofunctionalization. Biomolecules can be deposited in the device, e.g. by spotting, after which the bonding takes place and a fully functional microfluidic device with optimized surface properties is obtained.

Moreover, the nanocoating can be patterned, enabling localization of the coating, or the application of different coatings in a single device. For example, hydrophobic patches can be created in combination with the hydrophilic, antifouling nanocoating.

This results in improved performance and enables advanced functionalities such as the introduction of hydrophobic valves, generation of double emulsions in a single microfluidic device, and more.

Hybrid integration

Coat & Close can be used to create hybrid devices by integrating (polymer) microfluidics with other materials such as glass parts or silicon biochips. These components are at the core of Point-of-Care (PoC) devices, and their hybrid integration is a key challenge in the manufacturing and assembly process.

The Coat & Close process results in a hybrid device with a strong chemical bond between parts, while providing a hydrophilic, antifouling nanocoating to the walls of the microfluidic channels.


Changing the game of microfluidics

We believe that Coat & Close will revolutionize the manufacturing of microfluidic biochips.
Contact us here to discuss your requirements. Together we can help you save costs in your production process!