Microfluidic impact printer with interchangeable cartridges for versatile non-contact multiplexed micropatterning

Yuzhe Ding, Eric Huang, Kit Lam, Tingrui Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Biopatterning has been increasingly used for well-defined cellular microenvironment, patterned surface topology, and guided biological cues; however, it meets challenges on biocompatibility, thermal and chemical sensitivity, as well as limited availability of reagents. In this paper, we aim at combining the desired features from non-contact inkjet printing and dot-matrix impact printing to establish a versatile multiplexed micropatterning platform, referred to as Microfluidic Impact Printer (MI-Printer), for emerging biomedical applications. Using this platform, we can achieve the distinct features of no cross-contamination, sub-microliter ink loading with a minimal dead volume, high-throughput printing, biocompatible non-contact processing, sequential patterning with self-alignment, wide adaptability for complex media (e.g., cell suspension or colloidal solutions), interchangeable/disposable cartridge design, and simple assembly and configuration, all highly desirable towards laboratory-based research and development. Specifically, the printing resolution of the MI-printer platform has been experimentally characterized and theoretically analysed. Optimal printing resolution of 80 μm has been repeatedly obtained. Furthermore, two useful functions of the MI-printer, multiplexed printing and combinatorial printing, have been experimentally demonstrated with less than 10 μm misalignment. Moreover, molecular and biological patterning, utilizing the multiplexed and combinatorial printing, has been implemented to illustrate the utility of this versatile printing technique for emerging biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1902-1910
Number of pages9
JournalLab on a Chip - Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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