A microfluidic chip is a device that can process or display liquid trace samples. This chip is usually transparent and ranges in length or width from 1 cm to 10 cm. The thickness of the hips is approximately from 0.5 mm to 5 mm. In principle, the microfluidic chip adopts the microelectromechanical processing technology similar to semiconductors to build a microchannel system on the chip. The experimental and analytical processes are transferred to the chip structure composed of interconnected paths and liquid phase chambers. After loading biological samples and reaction solution, a micromechanical pump is used. Utilizing an electrohydraulic pump, the buffer fluid in the chip is driven to form a micro flow path, and one or more continuous reactions can be carried out on the chip.
Fig.1 Biochemical analysis integrated on a microfluidic chip. (Wu, 2016)
Microfluidic chip refers to the construction of micro biochemical analysis units and systems on the surface of a solid chip by micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) technology. Generally, a microfluidic chip is designed to realize the accurate, rapid, and large amount of information detection of inorganic ions, organic substances, proteins, nucleic acids, as well as other biochemical components. Moreover, It has been treated as a novel biochemical detection system developed in recent years based on microelectronic technology, biological technology, and chemical technology.
Fundamentally, the microfluidic chip is a miniaturized biochemical analysis instrument. The ultimate goal of the development of a microfluidic chip is to realize the micro complete analysis of biochemical samples, which mainly integrates the three typical steps of sample processing, biochemical reaction, and detailed detection on the microchip. Therefore, the appearance of microfluidic analysis chips is very inevitable in the development of modern analytical science and analytical instruments.
Due to the rapid development in the field of biochemical analysis, a wide variety of microfluidic analysis chips, such as silicon chip, glass chip, microwave high polymer chip, high-resolution separation chip, chemical synthesis chip, cell analysis chip, and multi-function integrated chip, have been established. Moreover, the microfluidic analysis system has high efficiency. Many microfluidic chips can automate measurement, separation, or achieve other complex operations in seconds. The speed of analysis and separation is often ten to one hundred times higher than that of conventional analytical methods. The results have shown that the high analysis or processing speed of microfluidic analysis chips is mainly due to the high thermal conductivity, mass transfer rate, as well as reduced structural size in the micron-scale channels.
Fig.2 Integrative, high-throughput, parallel-processing microfluidic systems for chemical assay applications that incorporate continuous flow systems, microarray systems, and droplet systems. (Livak-Dahl, 2011)
Besides, the consumption of samples and reagents for microfluidic analysis has been reduced to a micro-liter level and may be further reduced with the improvement of microfluidic technology. Micro-sized microfluidic chip components allow multiple components and functions to be integrated on a chip several square centimeters in size. For example, a segmented continuous-flow analysis (SCFA) chip has become a representative success story in the development of microfluidic analysis chips. This chip shifts the traditional mode of operation of biochemical analysis to a continuous flow of fluid in a pipeline. Glass or polymer pipes several millimeters in diameter and several meters in length are not only new containers for chemical reactions but also novel delivery systems for continuous, automated analytical operations.
Nowadays, by continuing to grow in response to the requirements of our clients, a wide range of companies, including Creative Biolabs, are dedicated to developing innovative microfluidic analysis chips, such as organs-on-chip, for understanding the mechanism of life activities and providing new insights into the biology of life processes.
For Research Use Only. Not For Clinical Use.