Flexdym™ polymer technology, an alternative to PDMS

Microfabrication

Flexdym™ polymer technology, an alternative to PDMS



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Flexdym™ is a new patented polymer used for chip microfabrication as an alternative to PDMS. This biocompatible technology (certified ISO 10993-5 & UPS Class VI) allows to fabricate a chip in only one minute at prices way lower than any other technology! Self-sealing, Flexdym™ eliminates the tedious sealing step of PDMS chips fabrication and ease connections to input and output tubings.

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Flexdym is a new patented polymer used for chip microfabrication as an alternative to PDMS. This biocompatible technology (certified ISO 10993-5 & UPS Class VI) allows to fabricate a chip in only one minute at prices way lower than any other technology! Self-sealing, Flexdym™ eliminates the tedious sealing step of PDMS chips fabrication and ease connections to input and output tubings.

Next generation materials for microfluidic and polymeric MEMS for research and industry

Manufacture your microfluidic chips in a minute

Biocompatible certification 

Scalable process adapted for prototyping and industrial production

Accelerate your research and industrialization cycles

Rapid microfabrication

Our polymers feature extremely low viscosity for rapid thermal molding with filling rates up to 100-1000 times greater than classical rigid thermoplastics (COC, PS, PMMA,…). Our UPSClass VI/ISO 10993-5 approved polymer technology based on nanoblocks copolymer chemistry allows rapid sealing onto various substrate up to 5 bar loading pressure. 3D, multi-layered and large microstructured polymer sheets (up to 8 inches) are easily assembled without structural deformation and use of equipment.

Effective integration, cellular and bio-reagents 

Our polymers’ high sealing performance enables the integration of cells, proteins  and others enzymes biomaterials prior to assembly. With a fabrication process that doesn’t involve plasma, vacuum or high-temperature, we can ensure that biological agents remain viable and functional in your device.

Broadly effective at R&D and Industrial scale

Flexdym™ polymer can be molded with our traditional hot-embossing system or in your fume hood with cost-effective, user-friendly and compact Sublym™  microfabrication kit.We can also support further developments (clinical trials, industrials integration) by providing rolls and polymers pellets for injection, IR, and R2R molding.

FlexDym polymer, an alternative to PDMS chips 

The FlexDym polymer is designed to offer an alternative to PDMS chips microfabrication. Here are the main strengths of this technology:

  • Biocompatible: ISO 10993-5 & UPS Class VI certifications. No gloves or safety equipment needed to manipulate it.
  • Rapid thermal molding: low viscosity with filling rates up to 100-1000 times greater than other thermoplastics (COS, PS, PMMA...).
  • Fast and high performance self-sealing: nanoblocks copolymer technology, resists to a loading pressure up to 5 bar.
  • Compatible for optical assays: low fluorescence, optically clear.
  • No absorption, permeable to gas and not to liquid.
  • Versatile: Easy to connect with self-sealing ports for different tubing dimensions.

An adapted material for soft-lithography

Flexdym has the advantages of PDMS without its drawbacks. With just a hot plate and and a vacuum heat press, your chip is ready in one minute and you avoid all the tedious process of microfabrication with PDMS.

  • Scalable: Flexdym molding requires common industrial processes and can be easily transferable to larger production.
    • Cost-effective: Better performances than the actual chips for a better price.
    • Resistant to tearing: Unlike PDMS, a Flexdym chip will not tear apart when you manipulate it.
    • Accurate: Microchannels width down to 50 nm.

      Applications

      Flexdym is an alternative to any other chip material in the classical applications of microfluidic chips: droplet generators, flow cells, micromixers, organ-on-a-chip...

      This polymer is particularly interesting in life sciences: its biocompatibility make it simple to design any experiment involving cells, proteins or other biomaterials even prior assembly! The self-sealing technology is not destructive, unlike plasma, vacuum or high temperature used in the sealing of other chips.

      See our Flexdym™ custom chip page for more informations!

       

       

        

      Flexdym is a real breakthrough for microfluidics, and as a forward-thinking company we want to bring this technology to your lab.

      Contact us to be a part of it.

       Flexdym sheet dimensions 150 x 150 mm
      Thickness 300 µm / 750 µm / 1.3 mm
      Hardness Shore A 35
      Specific Gravity 0.9 g/cm3
      Tear Strength 15 kN/m
      Tensile Strength 7.6 kN/m
      Elongation 720%
      Molding Temperature 115-185 °C
      Molding Pressure 35 Torr

       

      • How do I mold Flexdym™ to be as transparent as possible?
      We recommend molding Flexdym using a very smooth mold. Then, metal molds should have a mirror finish. Using glass or other transparent molds, such as epoxy or other silicones will ensure a more transparent result.

       

      • How do I clean Flexdym™ ?

      Isopropyl alcohol, methanol, detergent solution or distilled water may be used. Flexdym™ has to be dry (air or oven dried) before molding to avoid bubbling or splays (cloudiness). Tape is also recommended to remove dust particles. We recommend working with Flexdym in a clean room or under a laminar hood to minimize particle contamination.

       

      • What is the most effective way to sterilize Flexdym™?

      Ethylene oxide, gamma irradiation, or autoclave will work. Please note that Flexdym™ products are not meant to be implanted in humans.

       

      • How do I create inlet and outlet holes for my microfluidic channels?

      Traditional biopsy punches used with silicones will not work here. The use of a rotary/hand punch or a laser cutter is recommended. Self-sealing connection pads have been developed and ensure easy and leak-free connections with any tubing.

       

      • How do I prevent nonspecific binding?

      Methods traditionally used to treat hard plastics generally work with Flexdym as well. For example, coating the surfaces with animal caseins or BSA (bovine serum albumin) has been used with success.

       

      • Which mold does FlexDym™ work best with?

      Common molds used in the field of microfluidics work well. These include fragile molds, such as photoresists (e.g. SU-8), and etched glass molds. Temperature resistant epoxy molds and traditional metal molds (aluminum, nickel, brass molds) are also efficient. Silicones such as PDMS work as well, however, be sure to choose a stiff silicone grade at least 20 Shore A durometers above the Flexdym™.

       

      • Are FlexDym™-based microfluidic chips used for cell culture?

      While Flexdym is less permeable than PDMS, it still has sufficient air permeability to sustain certain cell cultures. Flexdym grades have successfully been used with yeast cells, NIH 3T3 fibroblasts, IPSCs (induced pluripotent stem cells), epicardium-derived cells, corneal cells, and other tumor cells.

       

      • What size range is reliably micromolded with Flexdym™?

      The minimal microchannel width is 50 nm, and the depth range is 50 nm-1 mm. However, microchannels between 5 µm and 1 mm are recommended with an aspect ratio (height to width) of 2:1 or less. Submicron structures and higher aspect ratios have also been achieved by some customers.


      Microfluidics contact team

      Contact our team:

      contact@darwin-microfluidics.com


      Our specialized team is at your service to help you pick the product best suited to your needs. We also offer specific quotes for high quantity, specific, or custom orders. Feel free to ask, that's what we're for!