Coating of Point-of-Care devices as a Key Enabling Technology
Point-of-Care (PoC) devices enable the performance of medical tests in the vicinity of the patient, instead of in a clinical environment. Microfluidic devices can enhance the development of PoC devices for more complex diagnostic tests. In this process, the use of plastic microfluidic chips would be preferred from a cost perspective, but their use leads to a number of technological challenges. In the Coat PoCKET project, Surfix and Micronit Microtechnologies combine their forces to successfully overcome these challenges.
The main goal of the Coat PoCKET project is to develop a disposable microfluidic chip to create a complex Point-of-Care assay using coatings to improve its performance. The chip is made of a plastic material (COC, cyclic olefin co-polymer). Like most plastics, the material in its original form is only very slightly hydrophilic to hydrophobic and therefore requires a special coating in order to initiate and sustain filling of microfluidic channels by capillary force. Additionally, to create an autonomous microfluidic device that doesn’t require the use of an external pump, the chips will be equipped with capillary burst valves to be able to introduce a multitude of liquids into the device in arbitrary order.