Next generation test bed for upscaling of microfluidic devices based on nano-enabled surfaces and membranes

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EUflag white low ID 6256 NextGenMicrofluidics project has received funding from the European Union’s HORIZON 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement n°862092.

Project duration: 01 04 2020 - 31 03 2024 (48 months)

Total cost: EUR 17.198.218,75

EU contribution: EUR 14.692.025,51

Number of partners: 20 beneficiaries

BNN members participating in NextGenMicrofluidics: GENSPEED Biotech GmbH, Infineon Technologies Austria AG, JOANNEUM RESEARCH, Rescoll - Sociète de Recherche, Technische Universität Graz

Coordinator: JOANNEUM RESEARACH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH (Austria)

Project keywords: upscaling; microfluidic devices; nano-enabled surfaces; membranes;

Project summary & objectives:

Nano enabled components are essential key parts for microfluidic applications - mostly in form of nano-enabled surfaces (NES) and nano-enabled membranes (NEMs). However, crucial challenges hinder the transfer of NES and NEMs into commercial microfluidic devices. Current production technologies (e.g. injection moulding) don’t allow large volume upscaling of complex nano-patterned surfaces and the produced microfluidic components need to be handled in single pieces in all subsequent processes. Therefore, subsequent backend processing (nano-coatings, printing of nano-based inks, lamination of NEMs) demands for complex single peace handling operations. This restricts upscaling potential and process throughput.

The proposed project NextGenMicrofluidics addresses this challenge with a platform for production of NES and NEMs based microfluidics on large area polymer foils. This approach enables upscaling to high throughput of 1 million devices per year and more. The polymer foil technology is complemented with classic technologies of injection moulding and wafer based glass and silicon processing. These core facilities are combined with essential backend processing steps like high resolution biomolecule printing with the worldwide first roll-to-roll microarray spotter, printing of nano-enabled inks, as well as coating and lamination processes. These unique facilities will be combined and upgraded to a platform for testing of upscaling of microfluidic use cases from TRL4 to TRL7. The services comprise device simulation, mastering of nanostructures, nanomaterial development, material testing, rapid prototyping, device testing, nano-safety assessment and support in regulatory and standardization issues.

The platform will be opened for additional use cases from outside of the consortium, and is therefore called Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB). The operation of such use cases will form the basis for self-sufficient operation of the platform after the project duration of 4 years
Role of BNN:

Within “NextGenMicrofluidics”, BNN is responsible for the day-to-day management of the project. As part of the Project Management Board, it supports the Project Coordinator (JOANNEUM RESEARCH MATERIALS – Institute for Surface Technologies and Photonics) in all administrative issues as well as communication and dissemination activities as leader of WP 2 (Dissemination & Exploitation).

Moreover, BNN is responsible for the evaluation of potential hazards and safety issues in all Demo Cases as well as regulatory issues, and is closely working together with all partners. By implementing its safety strategy, the overall aim of BNN’s nanosafety team is to ensure that all aspects of the involved processes will be conform to the “Safe by Design” concept for the technological development.
With regards to the Single Entry Point (SEP) of this Open Innovation Test Bed (OITB), BNN is responsible for the Quality Management Concept design.
For more details visit the project website:
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