Microfluidic systems are new analytical methods for biotechnology and medical technology. On so-called BioChips (lab-on-chip), many analytical reactions can take place in parallel and therefore reliable information can be obtained in a very short time.
The key to this type of analysis is the distribution and interaction of liquids on surfaces. The wetting and flow behavior on the carrier is decisive. Different carrier materials show different properties. Polymeric arrays of PS, PP, PMMA, PDMS or COC have as a rule a poorer wettability or react undesirably with the liquids.
Guided reengineering of surface characteristics thanks to Aurora low-pressure plasma
The surface properties of lab-on chips are positively altered with the Aurora low-pressure plasma: On the one hand, the surface wetting is enhanced in a controlled manner and, on the other hand, the interaction with the substrate is prevented through the deposition of a vitreous layer.
Hydrophobic layers with long-term stability
In addition, long-term stable, selective hydrophobic layers can be deposited on the surface using Aurora plasma. This effect allows the preservation of the microfluidic separation in some cases for several years.