Automated assembly of microfluidic "lab-on-a-disc"
Point-of-care (POC) testing attracts more and more attention in the medical health sector because of their specific property to perform the diagnostic close to the patient. The fast diagnosis right at the hospital or the doctors office improves the medical reaction time and the chances for a successful healing process. One of this POC test systems is a Lab-on-a-Disc (LoaD) which looks like a compact disc crisscrossed with microfluidic tubes and cavities. The fluid to be analysed is placed in the LoaD and an external device then rotates the LoaD. The cavities inside the LoaD and the centrifugal force ensure a clearly defined sequence of the analysis. Furthermore, we aim for an inexpensive manufacture of the medical product without neglecting its quality and functionality. Therefore, the Fraunhofer IPT works on an assembly cell to implement dissoluble films concisely into the disc. This dissoluble film demonstrates its successful usage as a gate for the fluid, which opens after a predefined moment in the cycle. Furthermore, we investigate to integrate a laser welding process into our gantry system and demonstrate its efficiency with the welding of polymer discs. This procedure is clinically safe because no further laser absorption material is needed in the sealing process, which might pollute the LoaD. Moreover, this process allows the alignment of several discs before the welding and therefore leads to precisely manufactured LoaDs in large quantities. All these methods together enable a fast, costefficient and reliable mass production to bring POC testing among the people.