Vanderbilt MicroFabrication (VMFC) Core

Overview of Services

Overview:

The Vanderbilt MicroFabrication Core (VMFC), operated by VIIBRE, 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. The VMFC regularly develops and supplies microfluidic chips, pumps, valves, and microcontrollers, either as stand-alone devices or components of complete systems such as cell-culture Perfusion Controllers, electrochemical MicroClinical Analyzers, and well-plate Multi-MicroFormulators. VMFC staff offers a wide range of technical design, engineering, and fabrication services.

 

User Facilities and Equipment:

The VMFC has three Class-100 clean rooms that are equipped to perform standard microfabrication techniques, including thin-film deposition, photolithography, soft-lithography, etching, chemical vapor coatings, and surface modification. An additional room is devoted to wet sample processing and chemical etching, and a learning laboratory is equipped with laminar flow and chemical hoods and the basic soft-lithography instruments required for training undergraduate and graduate students, research associates, and staff. Stock supplies and commonly-used consumables are provided.

 

The VMFC is equipped with four Laurell Technologies spin processors, a Karl Suss MJB3 mask aligner, an Innotec electron-beam/ion-etch thermal evaporator system, two Novacure UV spot curing systems, two plasma cleaners/bonders, two corona wands, five temperature-controlled curing ovens, a custom chemical vapor deposition system, binocular inspection microscopes, upright and inverted microscopes, digitally programmable hot plates, a submicron-scale profilometer, and chemical and biological safety hoods. A 30 watt Epilog laser cutter/engraver is available to create parts of microfluidic molds and other devices and support structures. The VMFC also has a catheter punch and a video-enabled arbor press for accurate punching of microfluidic devices.

 

Services Provided:

In addition to the VMFC core facilities available to external users, the VMFC provides high-level engineering services on fee-for-service basis. Expert machinists operate the VMFC machine shop, which is equipped with standard precision tools used to construct microfluidic molds and custom jigs and fixtures. A Tormach CNC milling machine with an automatic tool changer is used to create molds for complex microfluidic devices and custom instrument components. Computer-aided design and computer aided machining (CAD-CAM) are utilized heavily. VMFC-staff operated resources include an ultrasonic wire bonder, a wire saw, Buehler precision diamond saws and lapping wheels, a wet diamond drill press and bandsaw, a silanization station, an electroplating station, facilities for etching silicon and glass, and other support instruments. The VMFC has on staff a software developer for the design and implementation of custom-tailored computer applications, and an electronics specialist, capable of designing and producing custom analog and digital sensors and instruments in the fully-equipped VMFC electronics shop. The VMFC can arrange contract manufacture of systems and components, including machining, plating, injection molding, printed circuit fabrication and loading, and vacuum molding.

Leadership

John Wikswo, Ph.DUniversity Professor
Director of VIIBRE

 

David SchafferResearch/Development Engineer
Microfabrication Core Director
d.schaffer@vanderbilt.edu

 

Key Core Staff

Name

Title

Role

Phone

Email

Location

Clayton Britt

Microfabrication Customer Liason

Fabrication, Quality Control, Sales, and Documentation

(615) 343-2379

clayton.britt@vanderbilt.edu

Stevenson Center 6

Emma Pacilli

Grants Manager

Core Management

(615) 343-3182

emma.pacilli@vanderbilt.edu

Stevenson Center 6

 

Core Staff 

Name

Title

Role

Ronald Reiserer

VIIBRE Laboratory Manager

Custom Biological Microfluidic Mechanotronics Engineering

Greg Gerken

Software Engineer

Custom Sensing and Control Software Development

Monika Everheart

Fabrication Technician

Device Fabrication

Don Berry

Coordinator, System Support

Information Management

Hours of Operation and Location

Hours Open

Hours Staffed

Location

24/7

9:00 am to 5:00 pm, M-F

Stevenson Center, Room 6805

Stevenson Center Lane

Nashville TN, 37232-0001

Links and Resources

  1. https://www.vanderbilt.edu/mfc 

Contacts

Name Role Phone Email Location
Emma Pacilli
Grants Manager, Physics & Astronomy
 
(615) 343-3182
 
emma.pacilli@gmail.com
 
Stevenson Center 6
 

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