As my time at the University of Washington draws to a close, the students and post-docs I have been fortunate to work with are beginning to publish our work together. I'll soon revise my main web-site, www.synthesis.cc, with links to all the publications related to Microscale Plasma Activated Templating (µPLAT), a new way to fabricate integrated electromechanical circuits in PDMS at room temperature, mostly outside the clean room. I have spent way too much of my life in the clean room.
The point of all this work is to fabricate capable, yet inexpensive, MEMS and microfluidic devices for handling cells and reagents. The job is by no means finished, but I'm pretty satisfied with the results so far. We have managed to create in PDMS; single cell traps using Nickel magnetic relay elements; wires made of graphite, gold, nickel, palladium, silver, and, almost, constantan; electrostatic actuators and valves; thermopneumatic valves and peristaltic pumps; thermocouples made from combinations of patterned metals; plus ways of fabricating easy electrical connections between all these components, and between the circuits and the outside world.
Joseph Chao, now at the Biodesign Institute at ASU, just sent a link to one of the papers, and I post it here so people can get an idea of what we've been up to for the last several years: "Rapid fabrication of microchannels using microscale plasma activated templating (µPLAT) generated water molds", is now online at Lab on a Chip.