Simplified fabrication of integrated microfluidic devices using fused deposition modeling 3D printing

Gabriel Gaal, Melissa Mendes, T. Pedroso de Almeida, Maria H.O. Piazzetta, Ângelo L. Gobbi, Antonio Riul, Varlei Rodrigues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Microfluidic devices based on polydimethylsiloxane shown a plethora of experimental possibilities due to good transparency, flexibility and ability to adhere reversibly and irreversibly to distinct materials. Though PDMS is a milestone in microfluidic developments, its cost and handling directed the field to search for new options. 3D printing technology nowadays starts a revolution offering materials and possibilities that can contribute positively to current methodologies. Here we explored the fused deposition modeling 3D printing technique to obtain integrated, transparent and sealed microchannels made with polylactic acid, a cheap alternative material to set up microfluidic systems. Using a home-made 3D printer, devices could be assembled in a simplified process, enabling the integration of different materials such as paper, glass, wire and polymers within the microchannel. To demonstrate the efficacy of this approach, a 3D-printed electronic tongue sensor was built, enabling the distinction of basic tastes below the human threshold.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalSensors and Actuators B: Chemical: international journal devoted to research and development of physical and chemical transducers
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • 3D printing
  • e-Tongue
  • Microfluidic

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