Fig. 1 Microfluidic glass chip. (Wlodarczyk, et al., 2019)

Microfluidics combines the science which studies the behavior of fluids through micro-channels and the technology of manufacturing microminiaturized devices with chambers and tunnels by which fluids flow or are confined. Microfluidics deal with very small volumes of fluids, down to femtoliters (fL) which is a quadrillionth of a liter.

Microfluidic devices take advantage of the physical and chemical properties of liquids and gases at a microscale. They provide a variety of benefits over conventionally sized systems. Especially, microfluidics enables the analysis and use of less volume of samples, chemicals and reagents reducing the global fees of applications. Due to the compact size of microfluidics, many operations can be executed at the same time. What’s more, they also provide excellent data quality and substantial parameter control which allows process automation while preserving the performances.

Advances in Research on Microfluidics

  1. Teh, S. Y., et al. Droplet microfluidics. Lab on a Chip, 2008, 8(2), 198-220.
  2. This review describes the various droplet operations and applications of the droplet microfluidics system. The droplet microfluidics system has the potential to provide novel solutions to today's biomedical engineering challenges for advanced diagnostics and therapeutics.

  3. Pamme, N. (2006). Magnetism and microfluidics. Lab on a Chip, 2006, 6(1), 24-38.
  4. This review describes and discusses the various developments within the field of magnetism and microfluidics.

  5. Choi, K., et al. Digital Microfluidics. Annual review of analytical chemistry, 2012, 5, 413-440.
  6. This review describes the state of the art of Digital microfluidics (DMF) technology from the perspective of analytical chemistry in sections describing the theory of droplet actuation, device fabrication and integration, and applications.

  7. Bhagat, A. A. S., et al. Microfluidics for cell separation. Medical & biological engineering & computing, 2010, 48(10), 999-1014.
  8. Microfluidics-based cell sorting provides many advantages, such as faster sample processing, decreasing sample volumes, low device cost, high sensitivity and spatial resolution, and improved portability. This review summarizes the current state-of-the-art in microfluidics-based cell separation techniques.

  9. Beebe, D. J., et al. Physics and applications of microfluidics in biology. Annual review of biomedical engineering, 2002, 4(1), 261-286.
  10. In this article, the author summarizes the techniques for sensing flow characteristics and showed examples of devices and systems that perform bioanalysis. The main focus of this review is microscale phenomena and the use of the physics of the scale to create devices and systems that offer functionality useful to the life sciences.

  11. Dittrich, P. S., Manz, A. Lab-on-a-chip: microfluidics in drug discovery. Nature reviews Drug discovery, 2006, 5(3), 210-218.
  12. This review describes the application of microfluidics in drug discovery. In key issues of drug discovery, such as chemical synthesis, screening of compounds and preclinical testing of drugs on living cells, microfluidic tools can meet the demands for high throughput, and can promote or might eventually replace existing technologies.

  13. Yin, H., Marshall, D. Microfluidics for single cell analysis. Current opinion in biotechnology, 2012, 23(1), 110-119.
  14. This article introduces the recent development in microfluidics that are aimed at total single cell analysis on chip, that is, from an individual live cell to its gene and proteins. The authors also discuss the opportunities that microfluidic based single cell analysis can bring into the drug discovery process.

  15. Agresti, J. J., et al. Ultrahigh-throughput screening in drop-based microfluidics for directed evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010, 107(9), 4004-4009.
  16. In this article, authors develop a general ultrahigh-throughput screening platform using drop-based microfluidics that overcomes many limitations and revolutionizes both the scale and speed of screening. They use aqueous drops dispersed in oil as picoliter-volume reaction vessels and screen them at rates of thousands per second.

  17. Chin, C. D., et al. Microfluidics-based diagnostics of infectious diseases in the developing world. Nature medicine, 2011, 17(8), 1015.
  18. This review showed an integrated strategy for miniaturizing complex laboratory assays using microfluidics and nanoparticles to enable POC diagnostics and early detection of infectious diseases in remote settings.

  19. Li, X., et al. A perspective on paper-based microfluidics: Current status and future trends. Biomicrofluidics, 2012, 6(1), 011301.
  20. This review summarizes both the fabrication techniques and applications of paper-based microfluidics reported to date. This article also trys to convey to the readers, from the authors’ point of view the current limitations of paper-based microfluidics that need further research, and a few perspective directions this new analytical system may take in its development.

  21. Theberge, A. B., et al.Microdroplets in microfluidics: an evolving platform for discoveries in chemistry and biology. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2010, 49(34), 5846-5868.
  22. This review presents the importance of features of microfluidics in enabling new experiments in biology and chemistry. The author also describes the recent advances in device fabrication and examples to show how compartmentalization, monodispersity, single‐molecule sensitivity, and high throughput have been exploited in experiments that would have been extremely difficult outside the microfluidics platform.

  23. Mach, A. J., Di Carlo, D. Continuous scalable blood filtration device using inertial microfluidics. Biotechnology and bioengineering, 2010, 107(2), 302-311.
  24. In this article, the authors develop a system that enables high-throughput continuous label-free cell classification and enrichment based on cell size and deformability through a unique combination of fluid dynamic effects in a microfluidic system. They applied this system to successfully classify various cell types using cell size and deformability as distinguishing markers.

  25. Gu, H., et al. Droplets formation and merging in two-phase flow microfluidics. International Journal of molecular sciences, 2011, 12(4), 2572-2597.
  26. This review summarizes the main point of two-phase flow microfluidics, also discusses recent innovations in microfabrication technologies used for this purpose.

  27. Pekin, D., et al. Quantitative and sensitive detection of rare mutations using droplet-based microfluidics. Lab on a Chip, 2011, 11(13), 2156-2166.
  28. In this article, the authors develop a procedure allowing the highly sensitive detection of mutated DNA quantitatively within complex mixtures of DNA.

  29. Squires, T. M., et al. (2005). Microfluidics: Fluid physics at the nanoliter scale. Reviews of modern physics, 77(3), 977.
  30. This review summarizes the physics of small volumes (nanoliters) of fluids, as parametrized by a series of dimensionless numbers expressing the relative importance of various physical phenomena.

  31. Ding, X., et al. Surface acoustic wave microfluidics. Lab on a Chip, 2013, 13(18), 3626-3649.
  32. In this article, the authors discuss the theory underpinning SAWs and their interactions with particles and the contacting fluids in which they are suspended.

  33. Tsao, C. W., DeVoe, D. L. Bonding of thermoplastic polymer microfluidics. Microfluidics and nanofluidics, 2009, 6(1), 1-16.
  34. This review presents the range of techniques developed for sealing thermoplastic microfluidics and discusses a number of practical issues surrounding these various bonding methods.

  35. Dungchai, W., et al. Electrochemical detection for paper-based microfluidics. Analytical chemistry, 2009, 81(14), 5821-5826.
  36. In this article, the authors show the successful integration of paper-based microfluidics and electrochemical detection as an easy-to-use, inexpensive, and portable alternative for point of care monitoring.

  37. Weibel, D. B., Whitesides, G. M. Applications of microfluidics in chemical biology. Current opinion in chemical biology, 2006, 10(6), 584-591.
  38. This review summarizes the application of microfluidics in chemical biology. It introduces the characteristics of microfluidic systems that are useful in studying chemical biology, and shows recent progress at the interface of these two fields.

  39. Pollack, M. G., et al. Electrowetting-based actuation of droplets for integrated microfluidics. Lab on a Chip, 2002, 2(2), 96-101.
  40. In this article, the authors present a novel method to microfluidics-based upon the micromanipulation of discrete droplets of aqueous electrolyte by electrowetting.


  1. Wlodarczyk, Hand, et al. " Maskless, rapid manufacturing of glass microfluidic devices using a picosecond pulsed laser." Nature Portfolio 9.1 (2019): 20215.

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