Fabrication of optofluidic and microfluidic devices

Scope of the method

The Method relates to
  • Animal health
  • Environment
  • Human health
The Method is situated in
  • Basic Research
  • Translational - Applied Research
Type of method
  • In silico


Method keywords
  • hot embossing
  • micro-injection moulding
  • 3D nanoprinting
  • microscaffolds
Scientific area keywords
  • lab-on-chip
  • microfluidics
  • optofluidics
  • free-form optics
Method description

Prototyping and replication (small series production) of microfluidic or optofluidic devices, in thermoplastic polymers or in glass. 3D nanoprinting is also available to produce microscaffolds, possibly within microfluidic channels.

Lab equipment
  • Ultraprecision diamond tooling ;
  • High-precision milling and grinding ;
  • High-precision polishing ;
  • Hot embossing ;
  • (micro-)injection moulding ;
  • Glass press moulding ;
  • Two-photon polymerization-based 3D nanoprinting ;
  • Femtosecond laser glass machining.
Method status
  • Internally validated
  • Published in peer reviewed journal

Pros, cons & Future potential


Custom-designed labs-on-chips can be fabricated (prototyped, or produced in small series), potentially including photonics structures (e.g. waveguides, lenses, ...) to allow for optical read-out integration. In addition, the produced optofluidic devices can be enhanced with 3D nanoprinting to produce custom scaffolds (e.g. for cell growth). In terms of materials, thermoplastic polymers (PMMA, PC, COC) or glass can be used.


Sealing of microfluidic channels is sometimes challenging. Depending on the material used, several approaches are possible (laser welding, thermal bonding, chemical bonding,...).


Our fabrication technologies are very flexible and allow a large design freedom.

Future & Other applications

The fabrication technologies are also used in other areas, such as high-end free-form optics for imaging or non-imaging applications.

References, associated documents and other information

Contact person

Jürgen Van Erps


Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Faculty of Engineering
Brussels Region