Membrane integration into PDMS-free microfluidic platforms for organ-on-chip and analytical chemistry applications
Membranes play a crucial role in many microfluidic systems, enabling versatile applications in highly diverse research fields. However, the tight and robust integration of membranes into microfluidic systems requires complex fabrication processes. Most integration approaches, so far, rely on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) as base material for the microfluidic chips. Several limitations of PDMS have resulted in the transition of many microfluidic approaches to PDMS-free systems using alternative materials such as thermoplastics. To integrate membranes in those PDMS-free systems, novel alternative approaches are required. This review provides an introduction into microfluidic systems applying membrane technology for analytical systems and organ-on-chip as well as a comprehensive overview of methods for the integration of membranes into PDMS-free systems. The overview and examples will provide a valuable resource and starting point for any researcher that is aiming at implementing membranes in microfluidic systems without using PDMS.