Fast Development Strategy: One-Week-to-Chip
AbstractLooking at recent reviews there is a wide range of micro technological solutions for manufacturing lab-on-a-chip systems is available. Mass manufacturing techniques like injection molding and lamination processes that allow the production of final disposable products at reasonable costs. What is missing is the transfer of academic results to a robust design that meets manufacturing demands and customer's needs. A process is needed that allows fast tests of concepts and for the validation of the final chip design. As such tests pick up more and more speed the more you can rely on already established elements.
A process that meets these demands is the one-week-to-chip. This means: Having the idea on Monday, putting it into a CAD design on Tuesday, realising it with prototyping techniques, assembling it on Thursday and putting it to the test in the lab on Friday. If a thorough theoretical understanding is needed simulations using the generated CAD design can be implicated before manufacturing. This provides a sound theoretical basis for the interpretation of the experimental findings.
The basis therefore is twofold: 1) advanced prototyping technologies and 2) standardization. For the realization process this means that there are blank standard chips already available on the shelf. Using these blanks processes to generate channel systems and to do the assembly are standardised and only have to be adapted to the special needs.