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Polymer micromold and fabrication process

United States Patent

5,658,515
August 19, 1997
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
A mold assembly with micro-sized features in which the hollow portion thereof is fabricated from a sacrificial mandrel which is surface treated and then coated to form an outer shell. The sacrificial mandrel is then selectively etched away leaving the outer shell as the final product. The sacrificial mandrel is fabricated by a precision lathe, for example, so that when removed by etching the inner or hollow area has diameters as small as 10's of micros (.mu.m). Varying the inside diameter contours of the mold can be accomplished with specified ramping slopes formed on the outer surface of the sacrificial mandrel, with the inside or hollow section being, for example, 275 .mu.m in length up to 150 .mu.m in diameter within a 6 mm outside diameter (o.d.) mold assembly. The mold assembly itself can serve as a micronozzle or microneedle, and plastic parts, such as microballoons for angioplasty, polymer microparts, and microactuators, etc., may be formed within the mold assembly.
Lee; Abraham P. (Walnut Creek, CA), Northrup; M. Allen (Berkeley, CA), Ahre; Paul E. (Livermore, CA), Dupuy; Peter C. (Modesto, CA)
08/ 533,425
September 25, 1995
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.