Although an advanced concept used by physicists, microfluidics led to the development of a device we are all commonly familiar with — the inkjet printer. Today, scientists use microfluidic chips to screen for drugs or to run all sorts of laboratory tests.
Microfluidic chip technology continues to evolve. Scientists use the technology to isolate cells, bacteria, and nanoparticles. Read on to learn how do microfluidic chips work and even how to make microfluidic chips.
A Look at Microfluidic Chips
A microfluidic chip is a small device that a technician engraves with a pattern of microchannels. The chips are transparent. This allows scientists to observe cells, microbes, or nanoparticles.
Technicians link the network of microchannels to the outside by means of several holes. Scientists inject fluids or excavate liquids from the chip.
The varying dimensions of the holes, also known as inlet and outlet ports, allow scientists to separate or mix the fluids. Microchannels must be precisely constructed to allow for the desired separation of inputs.
The length of the chips ranges from about 1 to 10 centimeters. The thickness ranges from .5 to 5 millimeters.
The tiny devices are typically fabricated from thermoplastics. Acrylic, glass, transparent silicone rubber, and silicon are common base materials for microfluidic chips.
How Are They Made?
Now that we’ve explained what are microfluidic chips, let’s look at how technicians fabricate the chips. The standard means of producing microfluidic chips involves creating small grooves on the surface of a layer. Then a technician places a second layer on top of the first layer to seal the grooves.
The channels must be 100% leak proof, so proper bonding is crucial. Various techniques like soft lithography, injection molding, micro-machining, or etching are used.
Increasingly, 3D printing makes microfluidic chips. That fabrication technique has more limited choices for materials.
Where Can I Buy Microfluidic Chips?
Due to the complex fabrication process and accuracy of microfluidic chips, they are not found on store shelves. The units are sold in batches and can be ordered online.
Order now to buy high-quality microfluidic chips that can be used for a wide range of laboratory applications.
One of the benefits of working with microfluidic chips is that the units are reusable. To clean, simply place the chip in an ultrasonic bath of demineralized water and some type of detergent. The manufacturer will prescribe the right cleaning agents.
Several minutes is all it takes to properly clean the glass chips. Acetone can be used to dissolve any objects that are clogging the tubes.
Learn More About Microfluidic Chips
Microfluidic chips enable scientists to examine fluids or microbes in isolated environments. The applications for microfluidic chips are seemingly endless. Scientists can use these straightforward devices for a range of applications.
Are you looking for more practical tips or in-depth news? We offer advice on how to find the best rap beats online and more. Our comprehensive website has you covered for everything from science to health.