Microfluidics on foil
State of the art and new developments
The concept of microfluidics on foil opens up new opportunities for combining the advantages of having a flexible substrate with reel-to-reel processing, which has the potential to be the basis for extremely cheap micro products. To reach this goal, foil substrates must be combined with micro-manufacturing technologies that are well adapted to these substrates. Some technologies are already available, some are the subject of current research, and some still have to be conceived. In the current paper, technologies such as reel-to-reel embossing, reel-to-reel laminating, and laser ablation/cutting as well as laser welding will be discussed. The discussions include a brief review of the state of the art as well as a report on latest research results stemming from research by the present authors. Furthermore, this paper shows the vision of what can be achieved if foil-based technologies, such as polymer (opto-) electronics and microfluidics are combined. A polymer electronics-based alcohol sensor is presented as an example system.