3D printed mold leachates in PDMS microfluidic devices

Marcia Ferraz*, J.B. Nagashima, Bastien Venzac, Severine le Gac, N. Songsasen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
104 Downloads (Pure)


The introduction of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) and soft lithography in the 90’s has revolutionized the field of microfluidics by almost eliminating the need for a clean-room environment for device fabrication. More recently, 3D printing has been introduced to fabricate molds for soft lithography, the only step for which a clean-room environment is still often necessary, to further support the rapid prototyping of PDMS microfluidic devices. However, toxicity of most of the commercial 3D printing resins has been established, and little is known regarding the potential for 3D printed molds to leak components into the PDMS that would, in turn, hamper cells and/or tissues cultured in the devices. In the present study, we investigated if 3D printed molds produced by stereolithography can leach components into PDMS, and compared 3D printed molds to their more conventional SU-8 counterparts. Different leachates were detected in aqueous solutions incubated in the resulting PDMS devices prepared from widely used PDMS pre-polymer:curing agent ratios (10:1, 15:1 and 20:1), and these leachates were identified as originating from resins and catalyst substances. Next, we explored the possibility to culture cells and tissues in these PDMS devices produced from 3D printed molds and after proper device washing and conditioning. Importantly, we demonstrated that the resulting PDMS devices supported physiological cultures of HeLa cells and ovarian tissues in vitro, with superior outcomes than static conventional cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number994
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2020


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