3D Printed Microfluidics

Annu Rev Anal Chem (Palo Alto Calif). 2020 Jun 12;13(1):45-65. doi: 10.1146/annurev-anchem-091619-102649. Epub 2019 Dec 10.


Traditional microfabrication techniques suffer from several disadvantages, including the inability to create truly three-dimensional (3D) architectures, expensive and time-consuming processes when changing device designs, and difficulty in transitioning from prototyping fabrication to bulk manufacturing. 3D printing is an emerging technique that could overcome these disadvantages. While most 3D printed fluidic devices and features to date have been on the millifluidic size scale, some truly microfluidic devices have been shown. Currently, stereolithography is the most promising approach for routine creation of microfluidic structures, but several approaches under development also have potential. Microfluidic 3D printing is still in an early stage, similar to where polydimethylsiloxane was two decades ago. With additional work to advance printer hardware and software control, expand and improve resin and printing material selections, and realize additional applications for 3D printed devices, we foresee 3D printing becoming the dominant microfluidic fabrication method.

Keywords: PDMS; PolyJet; additive manufacturing; fused deposition modeling; microdevice fabrication; polydimethylsiloxane; stereolithography.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Lab-On-A-Chip Devices*
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques* / instrumentation
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional* / instrumentation