Microfabrication of Multi-µ-Functional Lab-on-a-Chip Devices
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CDA (formerly CDA Datentraeger Albrechts) was originally founded in 1994 and is today one of the largest independent manufacturers of optical storage media in Europe. In 2005, CDA started making use of its technical expertise in microfabrication to expand its activities into other applications, and by 2008 was already capable of large-scale manufacturing in these areas.
Today, the business area of µ-functional solutions comprises plastic solutions for micro-optics (for example, for micro-optics and diffractive optical elements), microfluidics (for lab-on-a-chip technology) and micromechanics (for sensors and electronics).
Multifunctional microfluidic systems for life sciences
In particular, there is growing interest in the use of microfabrication methods - a combination of physical chemistry, electrical and / or optical properties at a small scale - for the production of a multi-µ-functional system. In clinical, environmental and life science applications, so-called lab-on-a-chip (LOC) systems integrate several laboratory functions into a single device.
Compared with conventional screening methods, LOC technology achieves faster results with fewer inputs: less volume, less power, less waste and less time. Passive or active LOC devices endowed with multi-µ-functionality can thus provide both a practical and cost-effective solution for clinical point-of-care and other diagnostic tasks, environmental monitoring and biochemical / forensic screening applications.
Application diversity through added functionality
Various functionalities can be combined in an LOC to optimise its performance. For example, transparent materials allow the flexible integration of optical elements to couple excitation light into and fluorescence light out of a structure. Surface patterning at the sub-micrometre level and coatings can enhance specific optical performance. Coatings can also induce specific physical properties: hydrophilic surfaces improve capillary flow of liquids, while hydrophobic coatings such as PTFE can reduce cross-contamination among arrayed devices.
Plastic welding can be used to effectively bond the device and to impart gas-tight sealing to specific areas of a device. The use of systems without optical absorbers minimises contamination issues in certain critical biological and chemical systems, and a further recent development at CDA involves the use of printed electronics in a device as a track circuit, switch or capacitive and inductive electronic components.
A fully integrated process chain
The production of high quality µ-functional solutions in plastic means manufacturing highly complex and optically functional microstructures with extreme precision, and doing so very cost-efficiently under mass production conditions. Their manufacture requires an interdisciplinary and fully integrated approach, and command of several advanced microfabrication technologies: lithography-based microsystem technology, micro-optics, nanotechnology and precision engineering. The process is capable of high-volume production speeds, and achieves feature sizes down to 100µm.
In addition to this, CDA cooperates with several distinguished partners to provide even further functionality over and above that already highlighted above. The result is a suite of microfabrication assembly capabilities seldom found elsewhere.
Complete fabrication and logistics services
In addition to specialist manufacture, CDA also offers well-established logistics services, starting with warehousing, over pick pack logistics and up to express and drop shipping. Highest security levels in all respects are standard and for CDA self-evident, as is certification according DIN ISO 9001:2008 and other standards.
As well as CDA's headquarters and main facility in Suhl on the Albrecht (Thuringia, Germany), sales and support facilities are today also available in England, Belgium and the Netherlands. Contact us today with your enquiry.