Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience


It is on a global scale to develop affordable, rapid, portable and accurate diagnostic devices, especially for early detection which is important to improve disease management and treatment outcomes. Microfluidics as diagnostic devices have quickly developed for decades because of its distinguishing features with the ability to process a small amounts and volumes (π‘πΏβˆ’π‘›πΏ) of specimen in short analysis times (min or s), amenability to integration/multiplexing and high-throughput analysis, automation, cost, disposability and portability. In microfluidic system, electroosmotic pumps (EOPs), as one kind of micro-pumps which frequently perform essential functions to process the solution flow, have already got attention because of possessing several unique features and have been widely employed into various applications. However, the limits of the types of materials and time-consuming fabrication process have delayed the further development of EOPs as well as others microfluidic devices. To streamline microfluidics system into a broader research field even commercialized domain, novel fabrication methods and new materials need to be further developed. Three-dimensional (3D) printing has shown the great potential to fabricate micro-scale structures and microfluidic devices as it offers a broader range of materials and possibilities to quickly and accurately fabricate structures with complex 3D features. Fused deposition modelling (FDM) is able to provide many significant advantages such as cost effectiveness, higher user accessibility and a wide range of polymer materials as well as one obvious challenge aspect, low resolution, when it is used to manufacture microfluidics devices. To date the To date the FDM technique has not received wide attention for the production of micro-channels or capillaries with dimensions in the range of 40-250 πœ‡π‘š, critical for the use in EOPs, using typical regular print nozzles of 400 πœ‡π‘š in diameter. FDM-3D printed capillary EOPs have therefore not been considered to be feasible, this thesis therefore focuses on the development of FDM-3D printed approaches to successfully produce functional EOPs.

FoR codes (2008)




Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.