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Thermoforming of Film-Based Biomedical Microdevices

Authors

  • Roman Truckenmüller,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Tissue Regeneration, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twente, 7522 NB Enschede, The Netherlands
    Current affiliation:
    1. These authors contributed equally to this paper.
    • Department of Tissue Regeneration, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twente, 7522 NB Enschede, The Netherlands
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  • Stefan Giselbrecht,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute for Biological Interfaces, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
    Current affiliation:
    1. These authors contributed equally to this paper.
    • Institute for Biological Interfaces, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany.
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  • Nicolas Rivron,

    1. Department of Tissue Regeneration, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twente, 7522 NB Enschede, The Netherlands
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  • Eric Gottwald,

    1. Institute for Biological Interfaces, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
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  • Volker Saile,

    1. Institute for Microstructure Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
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  • Albert van den Berg,

    1. BIOS, The Lab-on-a-Chip Group, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, 7522 NM Enschede, The Netherlands
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  • Matthias Wessling,

    1. Membrane Science and Technology, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twente, 7522 NB Enschede, The Netherlands
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  • Clemens van Blitterswijk

    1. Department of Tissue Regeneration, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twente, 7522 NB Enschede, The Netherlands
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Abstract

For roughly ten years now, a new class of polymer micromoulding processes comes more and more into the focus both of the microtechnology and the biomedical engineering community. These processes can be subsumed under the term “microthermoforming”. In microthermoforming, thin polymer films are heated to a softened, but still solid state and formed to thin-walled microdevices by three-dimensional stretching. The high material coherence during forming is in contrast to common polymer microreplication processes where the material is processed in a liquid or flowing state. It enables the preservation of premodifications of the film material. In this progress report, we review the still young state of the art of microthermoforming technology as well as its first applications. So far, the applications are mainly in the biomedical field. They benefit from the fact that thermoformed microdevices have unique properties resulting from their special, unusual morphology. The focus of this paper is on the impact of the new class of micromoulding processes and the processed film materials on the characteristics of the moulded microdevices and on their applications.

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