Microthermoforming refers to thermoformed products sized by micrometers. They were originally made to produce electronic structures. It is also used in laboratories for cell cultivation and pharmaceutical research. This thermoforming technique utilizes three phase forming. The three phases consist of the plate mold with micro cavities (female), the (male) opposing mold allowing holes for vacuum pressure, and the seal apparatus. Below is a diagram showing the entire process.
The plastic film sheet ranges from 20-50 microns thick, and is comprised of polystyrene, cyclic olefin copolymer (COC), or polycarbonate plastic. This heated film is placed between the male and female molds and the suction is applied creating the microthermoform. The first microform was a 10 x 10mm cell culture, containing 675 micro pockets. It was created by researchers at the Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT), in Germany. It has revolutionized tissue engineering that cultivates live tissue cells for medical research and grafting purposes.