Skip to main content

Vanderbilt MicroFabrication Core (VMFC)

The Vanderbilt MicroFabrication Core specializes in the design, fabrication, and production of custom biological microfluidic mechanotronic (BioMicroMech) instruments, with emphasis on hybrid polymeric microfluidic devices with thin-film and optical sensors and computerized fluidic control.

Microfluidics allow for real-time studies and observation of cell behavior and interactions in optically transparent, oxygen permeable, biocompatible micro-habitats and provide the ability to confine cells in small, physiologically relevant volumes and facilitate co-culture of different cell types with defined fluidic connectivity.

Our typical products include fluidic networks, cost-effective pumps, various chemotaxis chambers and gradient generators, on-chip valves, multilayer devices, arrays of microfabricated traps and elements for cellular study, implantable devices for in vivo imaging, liquid and gas control systems, biological habitats and environments, 3D scaffolds,  microbioreactors, and more.

Our products are fully customizable, and consultants are available to discuss your specific needs and produce devices and instruments for your research.

Facilities Supporting the Core

  • Three Class-100 clean rooms
    • Standard microfabrication*
    • Thin-film deposition
    • Photolithography standard microfabrication
  • Thin-film deposition
  • Photolithography
  • Etching
  • Chemical vapor coatings
  • Surface modification
  • Wet processing and chemical etching lab
  • Learning laboratory
  • Laminar flow and chemical hoods
  • Basic soft-lithography instruments

*Shared lab resource

Equipment Supporting the Core

  • Four Laurell Technologies spin processors
  • Karl Suss MJB3 mask aligner
  • Innotec electron-beam/ion-etch thermal evaporator
  • Two Novacure UV spot curing systems
  • Two plasma cleaners/bonders
  • Two corona wands
  • Five temperature-controlled curing ovens
  • Custom chemical vapor deposition system
  • Binocular inspection microscopes
  • Upright and inverted microscopes
  • Digitally programmable hot plates
  • Submicron-scale profilometer
  • Chemical and biological safety hoods
  • 30 watt Epilog laser cutter/engraver*
  • Catheter punch
  • Video-enabled arbor press
  • Machine shop including a  Tormach CNC milling machine

*Shared resource