Milestone launch: CRAFT Device Foundry welcomes new era of microfluidic device fabrication

craft device foundry
The new CRAFT Device Foundry at the University of Toronto is set up to support large-scale fabrication of biomedical devices. (Photo: Daria Perevezentsev)

The Centre for Research and Applications in Fluidic Technologies (CRAFT) — a partnership between the University of Toronto and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) — has launched a new research facility at U of T’s St. George campus. 

“The opening of the new Device Foundry marks a huge milestone for CRAFT,” says Professor Axel Guenther (MIE), Co-Director of CRAFT. The Device Foundry will bring together researchers, clinicians, entrepreneurs and industry collaborators with a goal of advancing micro-nano fluidic device fabrication. Housing equipment to support large-scale production of biomedical devices, the facility has the capability to quickly take new technologies in healthcare to commercialization.  

The Device Foundry is set up to rapidly produce and deploy polymer-based biomedical microdevices, such as organ-on-a-chip models of heart tissues, and handheld 3D skin printers. The facility features a new micro-injection molder that will allow for thousands of micro-fluidic devices to be created every hour, a micro-milling machine for creating molds, a roll-to-roll polymer coater, multiple embossers, a laser cutter, a glass 3D printer and a nano-scale 3D printer. 

The University of Toronto has one of the world’s largest microfluidic device research communities with more that 50 investigators, including Professors Milica Radisic (BME, ChemE) and Aaron Wheeler (Chemistry, BME), both co-leads at CRAFT. The NRC in Boucherville has 40 scientists contributing to micro-nano device research in areas such as diagnostics, precision medicine and cell-based therapy. 

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