Microfluidic Devices: Definition, differences between microfluidic chips and devices, and types of microfluidic devices.

Microfluidic devices have a wide range of purposes. In this post, we’ll discuss the definition of what a microfluidics device is, what is the difference between a microfluidic device and a microfluidic chip, and the different types of microfluidics devices available on market.

What is a microfluidic device?

A microfluidic device is something that processes a small amount of fluid ranging from nanoliter-to-milliliter. Obviously, this definition is very broad and vague. As a manufacturer of microfluidic devices, we believe a microfluidic device represents a microfluidic channel plus all of its relevant micro-features plus inlet/outlet ports to make it work.

What is the difference between a microfluidic device and a microfluidic chip?

The microfluidic chip is a word that is actually borrowed from the electronic industry. Typically the term microfluidic chip refers to physical platform that houses the microfluidic device. Microfluidic chips usually range in size from 1cm to 10cm (1/2”-4”) and on average look like a microscope slide. A Microfluidic chip can house multiple Microfluidic devices.

Types of Microfluidic Devices

The beauty of custom glass micromachining is that microfluidic devices can be shaped to fit a wide range of purposes. Here we’ll list some of the most common types of microfluidic devices.

  • Straight Channel Microfluidic Device – single straight microchannel with one inlet and one outlet.
  • Y-Channel Microfluidic Device – mainly used for separation applications.
  • T-Junction Microfluidic Device – used for the generation of droplets, such as water-in-oil or oil-in-water.
  • Cross-Junction Microfluidic Device – two perpendicular channels connect to the main channel
  • Spiral Microfluidic Devices – single spiraling channel that branches at the outside end of the channels.

What Materials are used to Make Microfluidic Devices?

Microfluidic devices are often made from PDMS, which is a special silicone. At Citrogene, we have honed in a proprietary method for using glass for microfluidic devices.

Citrogene: Glass Microfluidic Engineers

Microfluidics has a multitude of applications across a wide variety of industries. When it comes to producing the ideal microfluidic device for your specific needs, there’s only one microfluidic partner to consider: Citrogene. Our proprietary process allows us to create precise, customized, state-of-the-art microfluidic devices based on your needs, all produced in glass. Contact us today to learn more.