Classification of Microfluidic Chips


Introduction to Microfluidic Chips

A microfluidic chip is a panel of microchannels that can be molded and engraved into various kinds of materials, such as glass, silicon, metal, as well as polymer. Normally, these microchannels can be linked through different sizes of holes to perform the desired functions, including chip mixing, chip pumping, or chip sorting. Pilot studies have demonstrated that microfluidic chips are rapid, automation, and high-throughput analysis tools that can be broadly used for detecting pathogens, analyzing cell patterning, isolating exosomes, and diagnose diseases.

In the past few years, a variety of sample types, like gas or liquid, can be injected and removed from the microfluidic chip by using the external active system (e.g., a simple tube, a syringe pump) or the passive system (e.g. hydrostatic pressure). The channels of microfluidics are usually in the range of one micron or tens of microns. The fabrication of microfluidic chips began with lithography, a process used in the semiconductor industry. With the development of specific processes, including electrodeposition, injection molding, or soft lithography (PDMS), microfluidic chips have been generated using novel materials, polymers (PDMS), and metals (gold).

Schematic illustration of the integrated microfluidic device. Fig.1 Schematic illustration of the integrated microfluidic device. (Jiang, 2017)

Classification of Microfluidic Chips

Nowadays, there are many types of microfluidic chips. Here, we list a few popular chips based on their features and capabilities.


  1. Jiang, J.; et al. An integrated microfluidic device for rapid and high-sensitivity analysis of circulating tumor cells. Scientific reports. 2017, 7(1): 1-11.

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