Simplified flow diagram of the low-cost technique for fabricating microfluidic devices. Resulting channels can be applied directly to a glass surface with no additional treatment.

A new technology could accelerate uptake and development of on-chip diagnostic techniques in parts of the world where rapid diagnoses are desperately needed to improve public health, mortality, and morbidity.

The method alternative for producing the soft-lithographic molds used for fabricating microfluidic devices is now both accessible and affordable using simple, low-cost 3D printing techniques and the open-source resources developed by the team.

This development could put lab-on-a-chip prototyping into the hands of researchers and clinicians who know the challenges best, in particular those in resource-limited settings, where rapid diagnostics may often have the greatest impact.

The next step for the team is to identify potential collaborators in both research and education to help demonstrate the impact this technology could have in both settings by developing and supporting outreach activities and applications for on-chip diagnostic testing.