Rapid Prototyping of Organ-on-a-Chip Devices Using Maskless Photolithography

D.G. Kasi, M.N.S. de Graaf, P.A. Motreuil-Ragot, Jean-Phillipe M. S. Frimat, Michel D. Ferrari, Pasqualina M Sarro, M. Mastrangeli, Arn M.J.M. van den Maagdenberg, Christine Mummery, Valeria Orlova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


Organ-on-a-chip (OoC) and microfluidic devices are conventionally produced using microfabrication procedures that require cleanrooms, silicon wafers, and photomasks. The prototyping stage often requires multiple iterations of design steps. A simplified prototyping process could therefore offer major advantages. Here, we describe a rapid and cleanroom-free microfabrication method using maskless photolithography. The approach utilizes a commercial digital micromirror device (DMD)-based setup using 375 nm UV light for backside exposure of an epoxy-based negative photoresist (SU-8) on glass coverslips. We show that microstructures of various geometries and dimensions, microgrooves, and microchannels of different heights can be fabricated. New SU-8 molds and soft lithography-based polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) chips can thus be produced within hours. We further show that backside UV exposure and grayscale photolithography allow structures of different heights or structures with height gradients to be developed using a single-step fabrication process. Using this approach: (1) digital photomasks can be designed, projected, and quickly adjusted if needed; and (2) SU-8 molds can be fabricated without cleanroom availability, which in turn (3) reduces microfabrication time and costs and (4) expedites prototyping of new OoC devices
Original languageEnglish
Article number49
Number of pages19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Backside exposure
  • Digital micromirror device (DMD)
  • Grayscale photolithography
  • Low-cost microfabrication
  • Maskless photolithography
  • Organ-on-a-chip (OoC)
  • Photoresist
  • Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)
  • SU-8


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