The advent of microfabrication techniques for the semiconductor industry (in which they are used to route electrons) inspired microscale tools for biological research (to route cells and molecules). As micro-and nanofabrication techniques have matured, microfluidic tools are specifically designed for biological investigation. The ultimate goal of microfluidic systems is a “lab-on-a-chip”, the incorporation of multiple aspects of modern biology or chemistry labs on a single microchip.
Microfluidic chip is a small platform comprising channel system connected to liquid reservoirs by, for example, tubing system in turn linked to the syringe. The size of the channels is in the range of a few micrometres, which greatly facilitates the handling of volumes much smaller than a microlitre. Appropriate channel design and integrated tools such as electrodes or a specific surface pattern are now facilitating the incorporation of many operational steps by allowing molecular compounds to pass each unit successively. The individual steps include sampling, sample enrichment (pre-concentration and preconditioning steps, such as filtering), mixing, reaction modules, product separation, isolation, and analysis.
Please visit the Development History and Development Prospect of microfluidic chips to learn more about the development of microfluidic chips.
Fig.1 Schematic illustration of the microfluidic device. (Chen, 2017)
Microfluidic chip is fabricated in a host of ways, with a large variety of components. Indeed, a microfluidic chip contains many kinds of functional elements, including valves, mixers, sensors, and pumps, capable of controlling fluid flow by utilizing the physics of the microscale are presented. The microfluidic chip concept indicates the goal to fully integrate these components to succeed with chemical synthesis, analysis (e.g., characterization, identification, and separation), reactions using only very small fluid volumes.
The fabrication of microfluidic chip usually requires cleanroom facilities and specific equipment. A great variety of microfluidic chip fabrication techniques and materials are available for producing highly sophisticated two- and three-dimensional microstructures with integrated modules. Pumps and valves, mixers, motors, and other functional units that assist chemists in the macroscopic lab have been miniaturized. Likewise, sensors and detectors, even optical components, can be integrated on-chip.
The main feature of a microfluidic chip is that its effective structure, which houses a fluid, is in micron-scale at least for one dimension. A microfluidic chip integrates different functional units for reaction, separation, and detection in a channel network. Therefore, microfluidic chip offers the ability to work with smaller reagent volumes, shorter reaction times, and the possibility of parallel operation.
Microfluidic chip can be classified into many types, including but not limited to:
Active in the development of microfluidics, Creative Biolabs is considered a leading provider of microfluidic chip development worldwide. Thanks to highly specialized staff and advanced equipment, our team of scientists is dedicated to delivering high-quality one-stop microfluidic solutions tailored to our client’s specific needs. If you have a project that requires the expertise and knowledge in microfluidics that Creative Biolabs can provide, please feel free to contact us.
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