Discover the Power of Microfluidic Devices

Tapping into the Potential of Microfluidic Chips for Diverse Applications
Build-in-peristaltic-pumps-and-cell-culture-chambers on a microtiter plate format

What are Microfluidic Devices?

Microfluidic devices represent a field of technology which has revolutionized the scientific world. It has its roots in the development of miniaturized analytical systems in the 1970s and 1980s. The invention of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) in the 1990s enabled the development of microfluidic devices with complex geometries and integrated components. Since then, microfluidics has become an interdisciplinary field, combining physics, chemistry, engineering, and biology to address a wide range of applications.

The use of Microfluidics

Microfluidics finds its applications in diverse fields such as chemistry, biology, physics, engineering, and medicine. The field of microfluidics is broadly divided into three categories based on the nature of the application.

  • Analytical microfluidics: This category includes applications that use microfluidics for chemical and biochemical analysis, such as separation, mixing, detection, and quantification of analytes. Examples of analytical microfluidic devices include Genomic Analysis and Proteomic Analysis with microfluidic flow cells and Cell Analysis and Sorting.

  • Diagnostic microfluidics: This category includes applications that use microfluidics retrieving diagnostic answers from small samples. Examples of diagnostic microfluidics: Point-of-care Diagnostics, Environmental Monitoring, Food Safety Testing.

  • Biomedical microfluidics: This category includes applications that use microfluidics for biomedical research and clinical applications, such as cell culturing, drug delivery and organ-on-a-chip. Examples of biomedical microfluidic devices include microfluidic cell sorting devices, microfluidic tissue engineering, and microfluidic spray nozzles.

  • Chemical Synthetic microfluidics: This category includes applications that use microfluidics for the synthesis and production of materials and compounds, such as nanoparticles, emulsions, and microspheres. Examples of synthetic microfluidic devices include microfluidic bio-reactors and microfluidic droplet generators.

Understanding microfluidic products begins with comprehending the basic principle of microfluidics.

  • Materials used in microfluidic products: The materials used in microfluidic products vary but commonly include glass, silicon, and thermoplastics (elastomer). These materials are chosen for their biocompatibility, optical transparency, chemical resistance, and mechanical properties, each fitting specific applications.

  • Architecture of microfluidic devices: The architecture of a microfluidic device can range from simple single-layer designs to complex multilayer systems. It often includes features such as micro-channels, chambers, and wells, all designed to handle fluids on a microscale.

  • Flow control of microfluidic products: Flow control in microfluidic products is crucial, as the ability to precisely manipulate fluids is a cornerstone of microfluidics. This is typically achieved through passive techniques relying on the device's architecture or active methods using external forces like pressure, electric fields, or magnetic fields.

  • Integrations with Microfluidic products: the integrations in microfluidic devices combine different components or functionalities within a single system. This can range from integrating various sample processing steps within a single device to incorporating sensing capabilities for real-time monitoring.

Types of Microfluidic Devices

Microfluidics finds its applications in diverse fields. There is a wide variety of microfluidic products available in the market where you can start your research of product development.

  • Microfluidic Flow Cells: Microfluidic flow cells are specially crafted to allow continuous flow of liquid samples through the path of a beam, essential in numerous laboratory and industrial applications. Glass microfluidic flow cells have the ability to observe and assess the ongoing process in real-time

  • Microfluidic Droplet Generators: A microfluidic droplets generator setup allows you to generate highly reproducible microsized droplets. This is critical in single-cell studies and high-throughput screening.

  • Microfluidic Cell Sorting: Microfluidic cell sorting serves the purpose of refining or cleansing cell samples to form distinct and well-characterized groups. Used in biology and medicine, these devices sort cells based on specific properties, aiding in areas like stem cell research and cancer diagnostics.

  • Microfluidic Micro mixers: These mix small fluid quantities rapidly and efficiently. Because of the stable and controlled environment these products are vital in chemical synthesis and biochemical assays.

  • Microfluidic sheet nozzles: Spray nozzles disperse liquid into a spray. A liquid and a gas are separately introduced into the chip, they merge in the middle and finally the outlet produces an oval-shaped, ultrathin sheet. These freeflowing liquid sheets are used for IR, x-ray and electron spectroscopy.

  • Organ-on-a-chip: Replicating human organ functionality on a chip, these devices provide realistic and more physiologically relevant models for drug testing and disease modeling.

Benefits of Microfluidic Devices

Microfluidic devices have many advantages over traditional laboratory techniques. The core principle of working with small volumes leads to faster reactions, less waste, higher throughput and automation of workflows. Microfluidic products can achieve high throughput and sensitivity, require small sample volumes, and enable precise control over reaction conditions. 

The integration of components and functions allows, moreover, for automation of workflows resulting in better performance and higher quality of results. These properties make microfluidics particularly well-suited for applications in life science and healthcare, where rapid and accurate detection of biomolecules is critical. Microfluidics is also useful for chemical synthesis and analysis, as well as environmental


Challenges and Solutions in Microfluidics

While the field of microfluidics offers many advantages, it also presents certain challenges such as the fabrication of microfluidic devices, fluid control, and device integration. However, ongoing research and development efforts are continually improving these aspects.

The Future of Microfluidic Products

The future of microfluidic products looks promising with advances in nanotechnology, personalized medicine, and environmental monitoring. They are expected to become more integrated, automated, and user-friendly, opening up new possibilities in various fields.

Transforming concepts into real microfluidic products

At Micronit, we see that micro- and nanotechnologies have an enormous impact on improving healthcare. As a contract development and manufacturing partner of microfluidic based consumables, we are proud to have contributed to the technologies of today and are thrilled to enable the technologies of tomorrow.

Our experience with thousands of microfluidic projects has taught us that no matter how great an idea is, it will never see the light of day if it exceeds the thresholds of costs, scalability, and feasibility. That is why we at Micronit make sure that our customers are surrounded by specialists.

From designers to project engineers, our experts guide the product development process from the first prototype to volume manufacturing. Our goal is to transform your concept into a successful product. At Micronit, we put all our energy and passion into developing life-changing products for our clients!

Micronit helps you to transform your microfluidics idea into reality. Our business development managers are happy to advise and together we will get your new product ready to be launched! Contact us now to further dicuss the possibilities.