Microfluidic chips are devices used in microfluidic studies and applications in which microchannels have ben molded or patterned for a specific purpose. Microfluidic devices and chips are used in a wide range of industries and are seeing an increased used in practical applications across those industries.
The use of microfluidic chips is increasing because of their unique ability to be custom manufactured to meet whatever need. Microfluidic chips have present many advantages as well. They decrease sample and reagent consumption, increase automation capabilities, and minimize analysis time.
Most Common Materials used in Microfluidics
There are three commonly used materials in the manufacture of microfluidic devices and chips. They are silicon, glass, and various polymers. Which type of material is used for a microfluidic device ultimately depends on the type of experiment. Since Citrogene specializes in the manufacture of glass microfluidic devices and chips, we are going to focus on why you should choose glass as the material for a microfluidic chip.
Why Choose a Glass Microfluidic Chip
Glass is a common and popular material used in the manufacture of microfluidic chips due to its inherent versatility. Glass has the major benefit to researchers who use microfluidic chips of being optically transparent, allowing for real-time analysis of processes. Glass is also electrically insulating, which allows glass microfluidic chips to be used in applications in which an electric current is required. Glass microfluidic chips are generally processed with standard photolithography or wet/dry etching methods.
Glass microfluidic chips offers the following additional benefits for microfluidics experiements:
- Well-defined surface chemistries
- Superior optical transparency
- Excellent high-pressure resistance
- Chemically inert
- Allows for efficient coatings
Additionally, glass is compatible with most biological samples. Meaning, glass microfluidic chips and devices will not run the risk of contaminating samples when used. Other typical applications include on-chip reactions, droplet formation, solvent extraction, and in situ fabrication.
Choosing the Right Material for Microfluidic Chips
Since its introduction, microfluidics keeps advancing alongside technology, and expanding its fields of applications. Biological and medical applications are a major focus of current research along with other areas. Glass remains the material of choice for microfluidic chips and devices. As mentioned above, glass microfluidic chips provide a large number of advantages simply not found in other materials.
Citrogene: Glass Microfluidic Chip Engineers
As one can see, 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.