High yield fabrication of multilayer polydimethylsiloxane devices with freestanding micropillar arrays
A versatile method to fabricate a multilayer polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) device with micropillar arrays within the inner layer is reported. The method includes an inexpensive but repeatable approach for PDMS lamination at high compressive force to achieve high yield of pillar molding and transfer to a temporary carrier. The process also enables micropillar-containing thin films to be used as the inner layer of PDMS devices integrated with polymer membranes. A microfluidic cell culture device was demonstrated which included multiple vertically stacked flow channels and a pillar array serving as a cage for a collagen hydrogel. The functionality of the multilayer device was demonstrated by culturing collagen-embedded fibroblasts under interstitial flow through the three-dimensional scaffold. The fabrication methods described in this paper can find applications in a variety of devices, particularly for organ-on-chip applications.