Diagnostics depend on precision moulding

Published: 5-Feb-2015

The latest micro-fluidic medical diagnostic systems are produced on a device no larger than a credit card. Sumitomo (SHI) Demag provided the specialised micro-injection moulding machine, designed to maintain the highest precision in a cleanroom environment

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At a facility located in Zweibrücken on the German/French border, the company thinXXS Microtechnology has an in-house mould department that manufactures intricate disposable microfluidic devices, developed to give quick diagnostic tests for medical conditions ranging from bacterial infections to cancer cells. Producing such macroscopic parts with microstructures on a device no larger than a credit card requires high, repeatable precision and a very clean environment and this is exactly what Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has helped the facility to achieve.

Medical professionals and diagnostic laboratories from all over the world regard thinXXS as the micro-mould engineering expert. Using ultra-fine precision milling machines, the German engineering team produces moulds featuring intricate channels and microstructures that are not visible to the naked eye. Drops of fluid, such as blood, are mixed in a reservoir in the moulded clinical test devices to create a reaction, which can reveal an infection within minutes.

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