A photocurable material having a microfluidic endoskeleton constructed in a flexible polymeric slab is disclosed. The flexible polymeric slab comprises a first flexible polymeric sheet with microchannel network embedded thereon and a second fleible polymeric sheet sealed to the first flexible polymeric sheet. The microchannel network is filled with a photocurable fluid that may be solidified upon exposure to an activated light to create a rigid endoskeleton within the slab. The flexible polymeric sheet may be polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). The process allows preserving a user-defined shaped by illumination of the material. The disclosed photocured shaped PDMS slab with microfluidic skeleton has enhanced tensile stress-strain properties, elastomeric modulus and bending modulus compared to the PDMS slab without the photocured microfluidic skeleton.
Velev, O. D., F. J. Renk, S. T. Chang, G. Swindlehurst, R. O. Bradley IV