Polyurethane-based microfluidic devices for blood contacting applications
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Protein adsorption on PDMS surfaces poses a significant challenge in microfluidic devices that come into contact with biofluids such as blood. Polyurethane (PU) is often used for the construction of medical devices, but despite having several attractive properties for biointerfacing, it has not been widely used in microfluidic devices. In this work we developed two new fabrication processes for making thin, transparent and flexible PU-based microfluidic devices. Methods for the fabrication and bonding of microchannels, the integration of fluidic interconnections and surface modification with hydrophilic polyethylene oxide (PEO) to reduce protein adsorption are detailed. Using these processes, microchannels were produced having high transparency (96% that of glass in visible light), high bond strength (326.4 kPa) and low protein adsorption (80% reduction in fibrinogen adsorption vs. unmodified PDMS), which is critical for prevention of fouling. Our findings indicate that PEO modified PU could serve as an effective alternative to PDMS in blood contacting microfluidic applications.
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