Versatile and low-cost fabrication of modular lock-and-key microfluidics for integrated connector mixer using a stereolithography 3D printing

Isa Anshori*, Vincent Lukito, Rafita Adhawiyah, Delpita Putri, Suksmandhira Harimurti, Tati Latifah Erawati Rajab, Arfat Pradana, Mohammad Akbar, Mas Rizky Anggun Adipurna Syamsunarno, Murni Handayani, Agnes Purwidyantri, Briliant Adhi Prabowo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


We present a low-cost and simple method to fabricate a novel lock-and-key mixer microfluidics using an economic stereolithography (SLA) three-dimensional (3D) printer, which costs less than USD 400 for the investment. The proposed study is promising for a high throughput fabrication module, typically limited by conventional microfluidics fabrications, such as photolithography and polymer-casting methods. We demonstrate the novel modular lock-and-key mixer for the connector and its chamber modules with optimized parameters, such as exposure condition and printing orientation. In addition, the optimization of post-processing was performed to investigate the reliability of the fabricated hollow structures, which are fundamental to creating a fluidic channel or chamber. We found out that by using an inexpensive 3D printer, the fabricated resolution can be pushed down to 850 µm and 550 µm size for squared- and circled-shapes, respectively, by the gradual hollow structure, applying vertical printing orientation. These strategies opened up the possibility of developing straightforward microfluidics platforms that could replace conventional microfluidics mold fabrication methods, such as photolithography and milling, which are costly and time consuming. Considerably cheap commercial resin and its tiny volume employed for a single printing procedure significantly cut down the estimated fabrication cost to less than 50 cents USD/module. The simulation study unravels the prominent properties of the fabricated devices for biological fluid mixers, such as PBS, urine and plasma blood. This study is eminently prospective toward microfluidics application in clinical biosensing, where disposable, low-cost, high-throughput, and reproducible chips are highly required.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1197
Issue number8
Early online date28 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thanks the financial grants for this research from the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP), Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia under RISPRO Invitasi program with grant number PRJ-81/LPDP/2019.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • 3D printing
  • additive manufacturing
  • dimension limit
  • gradual design
  • hollow structure
  • low cost
  • microfluidics
  • printing orientation
  • submillimeter scale
  • two lock-and-key modular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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