Transparent elastomers represents a flexible materials that is increasing important in areas of optics, microfluidics and soft robots. Here, we developed different fabrication strategies for making high performance elastomer optical and microfluidic devices. Due to it elastomeric properties, devices can be fabricated without issue in birefirigence with minimal waste.
For centuries, lenses are traditionally made with complex machinery because the need for fine grinding and re-flow moulding techniques to create smooth lens surface. In refractive lenses, the focal length is intricately linked to the curvature of the lenses. We harvest solid polymer lenses from hanging liquid droplets.
The backbone of microfluidic devices are highly producible silicone polymers (polydimethylsiloxane, PDMS) shaped by soft lithography techniques. The low cost and flexibility of the Soft lithography technique makes it the most widely adopted method for fabricating microfluidic devices. At the micron scale, microfluidics is used to isolate specific cell sub-populations that may assist in the progress of cell-based therapies, investigating immune diseases and examining genetic disorders. Methods for interrogating, separating and investigating stem cell populations may lead to improved disease understanding and new forms of therapy. At the nanoscale, microfluidic devices are used for manipulating, sorting and sensing biomolecules (ligands and analytes) into micro-compartment for mixing and binding.