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Fluidic Factory enables drug discovery research

Fluidic Factory 3D printer

Dolomite’s Fluidic Factory is helping the pharmaceutical sector to explore the potential of microfluidics for a range of drug discovery applications. A senior researcher at a large pharmaceutical company explained: “I’m part of a team of engineers that supports our company’s chemistry and biology teams by designing and building laboratory devices or tools that aren’t commercially available. Microfluidics is a new and rapidly growing area of interest for us – from single cell encapsulation for sequencing to particle generation and micro-mixing – and we’re receiving more and more requests to develop novel microfluidic chips. We already have a number of 3D printers in house, but we were excited when we heard about the Fluidic Factory, as the COC material it uses eliminates the chemical compatibility issues associated with many common 3D printing substrates, such as ABS or PLA.”

“We can now manufacture fluidically-sealed, monobloc chips in just a couple of hours, which is a huge advantage, as we have no concerns over the pressures used during experiments causing delamination of the chips. This enables rapid, iterative development of prototype microfluidic devices without the costs and intellectual property issues associated with using an external supplier – each chip uses just a few dollars of material. We also use Dolomite’s linear connectors for most of our designs, further simplifying the process and ensuring compatibility with laboratory pumps and other accessories. Although this system is not intended for mass production, we may even use it for low volume microfluidic chip production in the future, avoiding the need for re-validation of designs when changing production methods.”

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