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What is Microfluidics? What Is It Used For?

A reduction in microfluidic chip cost has resulted in wider accessibility of the technology especially for medical applications.

Microfluidics is a technology that has spearheaded the advancement of biological sciences in medicine and nutrition. With time, the industry has seen a great reduction in microfluidic chip cost, allowing further penetration of the technology in all the essential sectors.

What Is Microfluidics?

Simply put, microfluidics involves studying and designed devices that can analyze liquid smaller than a single droplet (hence the term 'microfluidics'). Devices that use this technology use microchannels that can range from a few millimeters to submicron levels. In comparison, a single hair in humans has a thickness of about 100 microns. It may sound like an expensive piece of tech, but the reason why it is so popular now because of the decreasing microfluidic chip cost.

This technology has seen increased usage in various biological sciences as it provides better precision in controlled experiments at a faster pace and a very low microfluidic chip cost. One of the most important applications of microfluidics is disease testing at Point of Care using Lab on a Chip devices.

How Does It Work?

Thanks to the low microfluidic chip cost, numerous systems are now applying it in healthcare environments. Systems using microfluidics technology usually involve a chip and a pump. Using the pump, precise amounts of liquid are moved to the chip at a controlled rate that could range from a meager 1 μL per minute to a substantial 10,000 μL per minute. To compare, a tiny droplet of water is only ~10 μL (microliter).

The chip itself contains microfluidic channels that process the liquid as required. Experiments can involve physical or chemical reactions as well as mixing. Sometimes, nanoparticles or cells are carried to the chip through the liquid, and these particles are then processed in the microfluidic device.

Microfluidic chip cost has gone down, thanks to mass production. This makes it more accessible for applications like collecting and separating cancer cells in the blood from normal cells.

Microfluidic Chips

Chips using microfluidic technology are mostly transparent and can be as small as 1 cm in length or width and can be made up to 10 cm. They are about 5 mm in thickness and can be as thin as 0.5 mm, making them fit for the purpose .

These chips contain internal microchannels that are literally as thin as hair and are contain outlet and inlet ports or holes for external connection. Microfluidic chip cost is low because it is made from silicon, glass, acrylic, or PDMS (a type of silicone rubber that is transparent).

How Are Microfluidic Chips Made?

The objective while producing microfluidic chips is to form tiny chambers or microchannels. This is usually achieved by taking a layer of material and carving out tiny wells or grooves and then covering them with another later. Proper bonding of the layers is necessary to ensure that the channels do not leak.

Microfluidic chip cost is not a lot because of the easy availability of raw materials. The microchannels in these chips are made either via hot embossing, etching, injection molding, soft-lithography, or micro-machining. The process used for production depends on the choice of raw material used. 3D printing has also been considered an option, but it comes with its own limitations.

Applications Of Microfluidics

As the microfluidic chip cost keeps going down, more and more sectors are finding applications for this amazing technology. Mostly used in biological engineering and experimental science, it is also applied in molecular research, fluid dynamics, genetics, cell biology, Lab on a Chip , drug delivery service, protein or chemical synthesis, Point of Care, genetics, fertility testing, Organ on a Chip, etc.

Microfluidics is proving to be a huge boon, especially to medical sciences. If the microfluidic chip cost can be reduced further, it will help more nations adopt the technology and improve healthcare drastically.

产品详情 Details
Biosensor integration
Biosensor integration
产品名称

Biosensor integration

Technical Introduction:

Biosensors such as silicon chips or printed electrodes can be integrated onto the microfluidic cartridge with high precision.

Technical Parameter:
Advantages:

High accuracy, general relative error can reach 1%;The analysis speed is relatively fast, usually can get the result in one minute;Strong specificity, only to a specific substrate reaction, and not affected by color, turbidity;Low cost, in continuous use, only a few cents per test.

Weakness:

Preliminary experimental height

Application:

Biochip assembly

Usecase Analysis:

Biosensors such as silicon chips or printed electrodes can be integrated onto the microfluidic cartridge with high precision.


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