In recent years, microfluidics and optofluidics have rapidly grown in popularity in the medical field. Advancements like the BioPhotonic Scanner now make it possible to detect disease early enough for more successful intervention and eradication. And at the core of these microfluidic devices? Optoelectronic components are made even more precise by advancements in material structures and laser technologies. We explore how Photo Solutions’ microfluidic components take these advancements further.
The Rise of Microfluidic Devices
As with many early photonic advancements, microfluidics was born from military research; in this case using photolithography for proximity fuzes. The combination of molecular biology and analysis, microelectronics, and national security fueled the development of microfluidic devices. As interest increased in miniaturized components and systems, the lab-on-a-chip concept emerged, paving the way for many medical device advancements today.
If you play a key role in medical device manufacturing, you know how COVID has impacted the industry and has driven innovative microfluidic disease detection. With optofluidics, we can take microfluidic advancements further and use precision components, on-chip lenses, and light collection to detect and prevent disease.
Role of Photonics in Microfluidic Disease Detection
Depending on the type of microfluidic devices you manufacture, the material, configurations, and fabrication of the components needed will vary. Optofluidic components generally include a light source (like LEDs or lasers), lenses, detectors, and switches.
Just as these devices are made through etching, molding, or machining methods, so are their photonic components. The precision etching on the microfluidic chip enables the devices to reveal biomarkers via multiplexing, automation, and high-throughput systems. Ultimately, these optoelectronic components aid in faster analyses, accurate measurements, and more simplified biological processes.
At Photo Solutions, we have decades of experience fabricating components from straight channel to spiral microfluidic devices.
Photo Solutions’ Medical Components
Since we began in 1989, we’ve been involved in optofluidics, following clients like Cynvenio Biosystems as they innovate medical technologies. Our photonic engineering provides device manufacturers with high-quality, low-cost ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent disease. We provide the following highly sensitive optoelectronic components to our global clients:
Ophthalmological instruments also rely on highly customized photonic components. We fabricate these components, from discs to reticles, to client specifications for the highest measurement accuracy obtainable.
Most relevant to optofluidics are our microfluidic components, which contain minute but extremely exact channels and imaged parts. By utilizing our laser services, we can achieve the highest degree of accuracy.
Precision Laser Services for Microfluidic Components
Photo Solutions is proud to offer precision laser services with applications for various industries, including medical devices. By investing in our new laser equipment, we can better serve our microfluidic and optofluidic clients and achieve greater customization and efficiency.
Nano-Perforation Laser: Also known as laser filamentation, the nano-perforation function of our laser allows us to remove material according to customer-provided patterns and specifications.
Ablation Laser: With our ablation service, our green fiber laser doubles the frequency to vaporize the glass material and achieve unparalleled imaged patterns.
CO2 Laser: The carbon dioxide laser capabilities have electrical efficiencies of around 10 to 15 percent, allowing us to remove material layers with precision.
With our new laser technology, Photo Solutions can also provide new chrome photo features and channel pocket patterns fabricated to client specifications.
Current Applications Changing the Industry
While Photo Solutions serves a wide range of medical device clients around the world, we’ve seen a particular increase in both interest and orders for components for microfluidic devices. As we continue to advance our technologies to meet those needs, we’re keeping our eye on industry leaders like the following:
The BioPhotonic Scanner uses precision photonics to measure skin cartoneid levels to gather dietary baselines in a cost-effective manner. Scanners like these are revolutionizing how we study biological systems and are helping to increase access to preventative healthcare.
In Situ Transfer Vat Photopolymerization (IsT-VPP)
A new technique called IsT-VPP uses microfluidics devices to lower drug development costs and provide accurate diagnoses. With 3D printing, the researchers fabricated microfluidic channels for these devices, opening up possibilities for future device advancements.
Laser Seals Production
Corporate partners Lassea and Cailabs constructed an experimental prototype using a beam-shaping technique called a multiplane light conversion. The precision weld of polymeric materials onto a microfluidic chip and femtosecond pulsed laser resulted in no energy lost around the edges and no surrounding damage.
Fabricating Photonics for Microfluidic Devices and More
Whatever your microfluidic device needs, Photo Solutions has the industry experience, technical knowledge, and precision technology to fabricate top-performing components. Get in touch with our team of engineers to see how we can take your revolutionized devices further.