No Access Submitted: 30 March 2010 Accepted: 23 June 2010 Published Online: 30 September 2010
Biomicrofluidics 4, 032204 (2010);
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  • Say Hwa Tan
  • Nam-Trung Nguyen
  • Yong Chin Chua
  • Tae Goo Kang
Rapid prototyping of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is often used to build microfluidic devices. However, the inherent hydrophobic nature of the material limits the use of PDMS in many applications. While different methods have been developed to transform the hydrophobic PDMS surface to a hydrophilic surface, the actual implementation proved to be time consuming due to differences in equipment and the need for characterization. This paper reports a simple and easy protocol combining a second extended oxygen plasma treatments and proper storage to produce usable hydrophilic PDMS devices. The results show that at a plasma power of 70 W, an extended treatment of over 5 min would allow the PDMS surface to remain hydrophilic for more than 6 h. Storing the treated PDMS devices in de-ionized water would allow them to maintain their hydrophilicity for weeks. Atomic force microscopy analysis shows that a longer oxygen plasma time produces a smoother surface.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support from the Agency of Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore (Grant No. SERC 052 101 0108 “Droplet-based micro/nanofluidics”).
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