We have previously discussed at length just exactly what are microfluidics. In this article we are going to discuss how microfluidics work, what is a microfluidic chip, why use microfluidics, and what are some applications of microfluidics.
How do Microfluidics Work?
Microfluidics systems/devices work by using a pump and a chip. Different types of pumps precisely move liquid inside the chip with a rate of 1microliter per minute to 10,000 microliters per minute. For comparison’s sake, a small droplet of water is approximately 10 microliters. Within the chip there are microfluidic channels which allow the processing of the liquid. This processing can be mixing, chemical, or physical reactions. The liquid may also carry cells or nanoparticles. The microfluidic device enables the processing of these particles.
What is a microfluidic chip?
A microfluidic chip is a device that enables a tiny amount of liquid to be processed or visualized. The chip is usually transparent and its length or width are from 1 cm to 10 cm. Microfluidic chips have internal hair-thin microchannels that are connected to outside by means of holes on the chip called inlet/outlet ports. Microfluidic chips are made from thermoplastics such as acrylic, glass, silicon, or a transparent silicone rubber called PDMS.
Why use Microfluidics?
There are several reasons to use microfluidics. First, to make use of a small size scale in the range of microns. For every 3D shape type, e.g. a rectangular channel or chamber, the ratio of surface area to volume increases as size decreases. This makes is favorable for microchannels to capture targets such as cells, germs, or nanoparticles. Another advantage to using microfluidic devices is the ability to visualize and characterize small objects such as living cells. Microfluidics is also used to miniaturize or integrate conventional laboratory practices by making lab on a chip devices to save cost or reduce time.
Applications of Microfluidics
Microfluidics is most commonly applied to experimental science and engineering. Examples of these applications are molecular and cell biology research, genetics, fluid dynamic, lab-on-chip, tissue engineering, organ-on-a-chip, drug delivery service, and chemical synthesis.
Citrogene: Microfluidics Device Manufacturer
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