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Biostability of Low-Temperature Co-Fired Ceramic Materials for Microfluidic and Biomedical Devices



Integrated low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) modules are widely used in commercial wireless data and cellular communication devices. Recently, a number of researchers have demonstrated the use of LTCC materials and assembly processes to build integrated microelectromechanical and microfluidic devices, incorporating a variety of electrical, optical, electromechanical, and fluidic functions. However, the long-term stability and biocompatibility of the LTCC materials for microfluidic and specifically biomedical devices have yet to be addressed. The biostability of LTCC materials has been examined in three different commercial LTCC materials using a bioleaching approach. The leaching rate has been obtained in several common biological fluids using weight loss and elemental analysis to quantify the leaching rate. Our results indicate significant dissolution of LTCC materials in simulated gastric fluid and highly basic solutions. However, only minimal leaching was demonstrated in both phosphate buffer saline and simulated body fluid solutions.