New publication in Micromachines: Congratulations Dr. Kong and Mr. Ang!

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Shrink film is a thin sheet of polystyrene plastic that shrinks to 25–40% of its original size when heated. This study investigated the shrinkage factor of the film at different temperatures and baking times to determine the optimal fabrication recipe for shrink film microfluidic device production. Additionally, this study characterized the properties of shrink film, including minimum possible feature size and cross-section geometries, using manual engraving and the CAMEO 4 automated cutting machine. The optimal shrinkage factor ranged from 1.7 to 2.9 at 150 °C and a baking time of 4 min, producing the ideal size for microfluidic device fabrication. The X- and Y-axes shrank ~2.5 times, while Z-axis thickened by a factor of ~5.8 times. This study achieved a minimum feature size of 200 microns, limited by the collapsing of channel sidewalls when shrunk, leading to blockages in the microchannel. These findings demonstrate the feasibility and versatility of using shrink film as a cost-effective and efficient material for the rapid fabrication of microfluidic devices. The potential applications of this material in various fields such as the medical and biomedical industries, bacteria and algae culture and enumeration are noteworthy.

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