A method of forming a polymer-based microfluidic system platform using network building blocks selected from a set of interconnectable network building blocks, such as wire, pins, blocks, and interconnects. The selected building blocks are interconnectably assembled and fixedly positioned in precise positions in a mold cavity of a mold frame to construct a three-dimensional model construction of a microfluidic flow path network preferably having meso-scale dimensions. A hardenable liquid, such as poly (dimethylsiloxane) is then introduced into the mold cavity and hardened to form a platform structure as well as to mold the microfluidic flow path network having channels, reservoirs and ports. Pre-fabricated elbows, T's and other joints are used to interconnect various building block elements together. After hardening the liquid the building blocks are removed from the platform structure to make available the channels, cavities and ports within the platform structure. Microdevices may be embedded within the cast polymer-based platform, or bonded to the platform structure subsequent to molding, to create an integrated microfluidic system. In this manner, the new microfluidic platform is versatile and capable of quickly generating prototype systems, and could easily be adapted to a manufacturing setting.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-46 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.