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Journal ArticleDOI

Advances in microfluidic materials, functions, integration, and applications.

14 Feb 2013-Chemical Reviews (American Chemical Society)-Vol. 113, Iss: 4, pp 2550-2583
TL;DR: The successful demonstration of electrophoresis and electroosmotic pumping in a microfluidic device provided a nonmechanical method for both fluid control and separation, and integration of multiple processes can be highly enabling for many applications.
Abstract: Microfluidics consist of microfabricated structures for liquid handling, with cross-sections in the 1–500 μm range, and small volume capacity (fL-nL) Capillary tubes connected with fittings,1 although utilizing small volumes, are not considered microfluidics for the purposes of this paper since they are not microfabricated Likewise, millifluidic systems, made by conventional machining tools, are excluded due to their larger feature sizes (>500 μm) Though micromachined systems for gas chromatography were introduced in the 1970’s,2 the field of microfluidics did not gain much traction until the 1990’s3 Silicon and glass were the original materials used, but then the focus shifted to include polymer substrates, and in particular, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) Since then the field has grown to encompass a wide variety of materials and applications The successful demonstration of electrophoresis and electroosmotic pumping in a microfluidic device provided a nonmechanical method for both fluid control and separation4 Laser induced fluorescence (LIF) enabled sensitive detection of fluorophores or fluorescently labeled molecules The expanded availability of low-cost printing allowed for cheaper and quicker mask fabrication for use in soft lithography5 Commercial microfluidic systems are now available from Abbott, Agilent, Caliper, Dolomite, Micralyne, Microfluidic Chip Shop, Micrux Technologies and Waters, as a few prominent examples For a more thorough description of the history of microfluidics, we refer the reader to a number of comprehensive, specialized reviews,3, 6–11 as well as a more general 2006 review12 The field of microfluidics offers many advantages compared to carrying out processes through bulk solution chemistry, the first of which relates to a lesson taught to every first-year chemistry student Simply stated, diffusion is slow! Thus, the smaller the distance required for interaction, the faster it will be Smaller channel dimensions also lead to smaller sample volumes (fL-nL), which can reduce the amount of sample or reagents required for testing and analysis Reduced dimensions can also lead to portable devices to enable on-site testing (provided the associated hardware is similarly portable) Finally, integration of multiple processes (like labeling, purification, separation and detection) in a microfluidic device can be highly enabling for many applications Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) contain integrated electrical and mechanical parts that create a sensor or system Applications of MEMS are ubiquitous, including automobiles, phones, video games and medical and biological sensors13 Micro-total analysis systems, also known as labs-on-a-chip, are the chemical analogue of MEMS, as integrated microfluidic devices that are capable of automating multiple processes relevant to laboratory sciences For example, a typical lab-on-a-chip system might selectively purify a complex mixture (through filtering, antibody capture, etc), then separate target components and detect them Microfluidic devices consist of a core of common components Areas defined by empty space, such as reservoirs (wells), chambers and microchannels, are central to microfluidic systems Positive features, created by areas of solid material, add increased functionality to a chip and can consist of membranes, monoliths, pneumatic controls, beams and pillars Given the ubiquitous nature of negative components, and microchannels in particular, we focus here on a few of their properties Microfluidic channels have small overall volumes, laminar flow and a large surface-to-volume ratio Dimensions of a typical separation channel in microchip electrophoresis (μCE) are: 50 μm width, 15 μm height and 5 cm length for a volume of 375 nL Flow in these devices is normally nonturbulent due to low Reynolds numbers For example, water flowing at 20°C in the above channel at 1 μL/min (222 cm/s) results in a Reynolds number of ~05, where <2000 is laminar flow Since flow is nonturbulent, mixing is normally diffusion-limited Small channel sizes also have a high surface-to-volume ratio, leading to different characteristics from what are commonly found in bulk volumes The material surface can be used to manipulate fluid movement (such as by electroosmotic flow, EOF) and surface interactions For a solution in contact with a charged surface, a double layer of charge is created as oppositely charged ions are attracted to the surface charges This electrical double layer consists of an inner rigid or Stern Layer and an outer diffuse layer An electrostatic potential known as the zeta potential is formed, with the magnitude of the potential decreasing as distance from the surface increases The electrical double layer is the basis for EOF, wherein an applied voltage causes the loosely bound diffuse layer to move towards an electrode, dragging the bulk solution along Charges on the exposed surface also exert a greater influence on the fluid in a channel as its size decreases Larger surface-to-volume ratios are more prone to nonspecific adsorption and surface fouling In particular, non-charged and hydrophobic microdevice surfaces can cause proteins in solution to denature and stick We focus our review on advances in microfluidic systems since 2008 In doing this, we occasionally must cover foundational work in microfluidics that is considerably less recent We do not focus on chemical synthesis applications of microfluidics although it is an expanding area, nor do we delve into lithography, device fabrication or production costs Our specific emphasis herein is on four areas within microfluidics: properties and applications of commonly used materials, basic functions, integration, and selected applications For each of these four topics we provide a concluding section on opportunities for future development, and at the end of this review, we offer general conclusions and prospective for future work in the field Due to the considerable scope of the field of microfluidics, we limit our discussion to selected examples from each area, but cite in-depth reviews for the reader to turn to for further information about specific topics We also refer the reader to recent comprehensive reviews on advances in lab-on-a-chip systems by Arora et al10 and Kovarik et al14

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Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This review introduces readers to the basic principles and fundamentals of flow chemistry and critically discusses recent flow chemistry accounts.
Abstract: Flow chemistry involves the use of channels or tubing to conduct a reaction in a continuous stream rather than in a flask Flow equipment provides chemists with unique control over reaction parameters enhancing reactivity or in some cases enabling new reactions This relatively young technology has received a remarkable amount of attention in the past decade with many reports on what can be done in flow Until recently, however, the question, “Should we do this in flow?” has merely been an afterthought This review introduces readers to the basic principles and fundamentals of flow chemistry and critically discusses recent flow chemistry accounts

1,192 citations

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TL;DR: This review provides a comprehensive overview of the isothermal amplification of nucleic acids encompassing work published in the past two decades including applications in bioanalysis, diagnostics, nanotechnology, materials science, and device integration.
Abstract: Isothermal amplification of nucleic acids is a simple process that rapidly and efficiently accumulates nucleic acid sequences at constant temperature. Since the early 1990s, various isothermal amplification techniques have been developed as alternatives to polymerase chain reaction (PCR). These isothermal amplification methods have been used for biosensing targets such as DNA, RNA, cells, proteins, small molecules, and ions. The applications of these techniques for in situ or intracellular bioimaging and sequencing have been amply demonstrated. Amplicons produced by isothermal amplification methods have also been utilized to construct versatile nucleic acid nanomaterials for promising applications in biomedicine, bioimaging, and biosensing. The integration of isothermal amplification into microsystems or portable devices improves nucleic acid-based on-site assays and confers high sensitivity. Single-cell and single-molecule analyses have also been implemented based on integrated microfluidic systems. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the isothermal amplification of nucleic acids encompassing work published in the past two decades. First, different isothermal amplification techniques are classified into three types based on reaction kinetics. Then, we summarize the applications of isothermal amplification in bioanalysis, diagnostics, nanotechnology, materials science, and device integration. Finally, several challenges and perspectives in the field are discussed.

1,144 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The purpose of this review is to convey the fundamentals of droplet microfluidics, a critical analysis on its current status and challenges, and opinions on its future development.
Abstract: Droplet microfluidics generates and manipulates discrete droplets through immiscible multiphase flows inside microchannels Due to its remarkable advantages, droplet microfluidics bears significant value in an extremely wide range of area In this review, we provide a comprehensive and in-depth insight into droplet microfluidics, covering fundamental research from microfluidic chip fabrication and droplet generation to the applications of droplets in bio(chemical) analysis and materials generation The purpose of this review is to convey the fundamentals of droplet microfluidics, a critical analysis on its current status and challenges, and opinions on its future development We believe this review will promote communications among biology, chemistry, physics, and materials science

990 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Jiu-an Lv1, Yuyun Liu1, Jia Wei1, Erqiang Chen2, Lang Qin1, Yanlei Yu1 
08 Sep 2016-Nature
TL;DR: This work reports a strategy to manipulate fluid slugs by photo-induced asymmetric deformation of tubular microactuators, which induces capillary forces for liquid propulsion.
Abstract: The manipulation of small amounts of liquids has applications ranging from biomedical devices to liquid transfer. Direct light-driven manipulation of liquids, especially when triggered by light-induced capillary forces, is of particular interest because light can provide contactless spatial and temporal control. However, existing light-driven technologies suffer from an inherent limitation in that liquid motion is strongly resisted by the effect of contact-line pinning. Here we report a strategy to manipulate fluid slugs by photo-induced asymmetric deformation of tubular microactuators, which induces capillary forces for liquid propulsion. Microactuators with various shapes (straight, 'Y'-shaped, serpentine and helical) are fabricated from a mechanically robust linear liquid crystal polymer. These microactuators are able to exert photocontrol of a wide diversity of liquids over a long distance with controllable velocity and direction, and hence to mix multiphase liquids, to combine liquids and even to make liquids run uphill. We anticipate that this photodeformable microactuator will find use in micro-reactors, in laboratory-on-a-chip settings and in micro-optomechanical systems.

714 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This Review summarizes advances from the past 5 years in the development of electrochemical sensors for clinically relevant biomolecules, including small molecules, nucleic acids, and proteins and addresses the remaining challenges and opportunities.
Abstract: Rapid progress in identifying biomarkers that are hallmarks of disease has increased demand for high-performance detection technologies. Implementation of electrochemical methods in clinical analysis may provide an effective answer to the growing need for rapid, specific, inexpensive, and fully automated means of biomarker analysis. This Review summarizes advances from the past 5 years in the development of electrochemical sensors for clinically relevant biomolecules, including small molecules, nucleic acids, and proteins. Various sensing strategies are assessed according to their potential for reaching relevant limits of sensitivity, specificity, and degrees of multiplexing. Furthermore, we address the remaining challenges and opportunities to integrate electrochemical sensing platforms into point-of-care solutions.

639 citations

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
27 Jul 2006-Nature
TL;DR: The manipulation of fluids in channels with dimensions of tens of micrometres — microfluidics — has emerged as a distinct new field that has the potential to influence subject areas from chemical synthesis and biological analysis to optics and information technology.
Abstract: The manipulation of fluids in channels with dimensions of tens of micrometres--microfluidics--has emerged as a distinct new field. Microfluidics has the potential to influence subject areas from chemical synthesis and biological analysis to optics and information technology. But the field is still at an early stage of development. Even as the basic science and technological demonstrations develop, other problems must be addressed: choosing and focusing on initial applications, and developing strategies to complete the cycle of development, including commercialization. The solutions to these problems will require imagination and ingenuity.

8,260 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The major factors that play a role in the development of clinically accurate in-vivo glucose sensors include issues related to biocompatibility, miniaturization, long-term stability of the enzyme and transducer, oxygen deficit, short stabilization times, in- vivo calibration, baseline drift, safety, and convenience.
Abstract: First-generation glucose biosensors relied on the use of the natural oxygen cosubstrate and the production and detection of hydrogen peroxide and were much simpler, especially when miniaturized sensors are concerned. More sophisticated bioelectronic systems for enhancing the electrical response, based on patterned monolayer or multilayer assemblies and organized enzyme networks on solid electrodes, have been developed for contacting GOx with the electrode support. Electrochemical biosensors are well suited for satisfying the needs of personal (home) glucose testing, and the majority of personal blood glucose meters are based on disposable (screen-printed) enzyme electrode test strips, which are mass produced by the thick film (screen-printing) microfabrication technology. In the counter and an additional “baseline” working electrode, various membranes (mesh) are incorporated into the test strips along with surfactants, to provide a uniform sample coverage. Such devices offer considerable promise for obtaining the desired clinical information in a simpler, user-friendly, faster, and cheaper manner compared to traditional assays. Continuous ex-vivo monitoring of blood glucose was proposed in 1974 and the majority of glucose sensors used for in-vivo applications are based on the GOx-catalyzed oxidation of glucose by oxygen. The major factors that play a role in the development of clinically accurate in-vivo glucose sensors include issues related to biocompatibility, miniaturization, long-term stability of the enzyme and transducer, oxygen deficit, short stabilization times, in-vivo calibration, baseline drift, safety, and convenience.

2,924 citations

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TL;DR: Microfluidic paper-based analytical devices are a new class of point-of-care diagnostic devices that are inexpensive, easy to use, and designed specifically for use in developing countries.
Abstract: Microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (μPADs) are a new class of point-of-care diagnostic devices that are inexpensive, easy to use, and designed specifically for use in developing countries. (To listen to a podcast about this feature, please go to the Analytical Chemistry multimedia page at pubs.acs.org/page/ancham/audio/index.html.)

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TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a review of the book.http://www.reviewreviews.com/reviews/book-reviews-of-the-book
Abstract: Review

2,157 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This second part of the review of microfluidic system preparation will cover a number of standard operations as well as some biological applications of micro total analysis systems.
Abstract: After having reviewed some aspects of microfluidic system preparation in the first part (1), in this second part of the review we will cover a number of standard operations (namely: sample preparation, sample injection, sample manipulation, reaction, separation, and detection) as well as some biological applications of micro total analysis systems (namely: cell culture, polymerase chain reaction, DNA separation, DNA sequencing, and clinical diagnostics). As previously, we will include papers issued from different scientific journals as well as useful abstracts from three conference proceedings: MEMS, Transducers, and μTAS. In this second part, we do not include the period covered by the history section (1975-1997) from part 1 but try to cover the relevant examples of the literature published between January 1998 and March 2002. We briefly describe articles that struck us as needing special attention, while more “standard” papers are dutifully reported in groups of interest. An article might be included in more than one section, depending on the ideas developed in it.

1,541 citations