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Chemically Robust Microfluidic Devices for Radiochemistry Platforms

J.P. Rolland, A. Elizarov, J. Brewster, J.R. Heath and J.M. DeSimone
Liquidia Technologies, US

fluoropolymers, microfluidics, PDMS

We report the fabrication of solvent-compatible microfluidic devices based on photocurable “Liquid Teflon” materials. The materials are highly fluorinated functionalized perfluoropolyethers (PFPEs) that have liquidlike viscosities that can be cured into highly durable elastomers that exhibit the remarkable chemical resistance of fluoropolymers such as Teflon. Unlike Teflon, these materials posses similar mechanical and optical properties to Poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS). PDMS elastomers have become the material of choice for many recent microfluidic device applications. Despite the advantages of PDMS in relation to microfluidics technology, the material suffers from a serious drawback in that it swells in most organic solvents and reacts with acids, bases, and nucleophiles. Multilayer PFPE microfluidic devices containing air-actuated pneumatic valves were fabricated using multifunctional PFPEs. Very strong adhesion capable of holding up to 60 psi without delamination was obtained. PFPE Device fabrication and valve actuation were accomplished using established procedures for PDMS devices. PFPE devices were used in the synthesis of radiolabelled biomarkers for positron emission tomography (PET) and compared to PDMS chips. Devices made from PFPE far outperformed device made from PDMS in terms of solvent and chemical compatibility. Microfluidic synthesis of PET biomarkers greatly reduces the synthesis time and volumes of material needed in traditional synthesis boxes.

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