Microfluidic Applications

Lab on a Chip Industry Workshop

Microfluidic Applications

Join our event on Facebook and find out who else is attending!

August 2-3 2014 in Dalian, China

This workshop focuses on the innovative developments in Lab-on-a-Chip technology and the applications of microfluidics in diagnostics, biological, material, pharmaceutical, and environmental sciences. For more information, please visit the official webpage.

Register now – deadline is July 15th 2014

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New YouTube videos

 
Dynamics of counterion-induced attraction between vimentin filaments followed in microfluidic drops 

 
 
   
Engineering interconnected 3D vascular networks in hydrogels using molded sodium alginate lattice as the sacrificial templates 

 
 
   
AC Electric Field Induced Dipole-Based On-Chip 3D Cell Rotation 

 
    
Testing Aß toxicity on primary CNS cultures using drug-screening microfluidic chips 

 
 
   
A smartphone-based chip-scale microscope using ambient illumination 

 
 
   
Biofunctionalized self-propelled micromotors as an alternative on-chip concentrating system 

 
   
Simultaneous thermal and optical imaging of two-phase flow in a micro-model 

 
   
A Label-Free Microfluidic Assay to quantitatively study antibiotic diffusion through lipid membranes 

 
 
  
Deformability-based microfluidic cell pairing and fusion  

 
 
  
Rapid, low-cost and instrument-free CD4+ cell counting for HIV diagnostics in resource-poor settings 

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Free access to HOT articles

These HOT articles were recommended by our referees and are free to access for 4 weeks*

Donut-shaped chambers for analysis of biochemical processes at the cellular and subcellular levels
N. Zurgil, O. Ravid-Hermesh, Y. Shafran, S. Howitz, E. Afrimzon, M. Sobolev, J. He, E. Shinar, R. Goldman-Levi and M. Deutsch  
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 2226-2239
DOI: 10.1039/C3LC51426A

Graphical abstract: Donut-shaped chambers for analysis of biochemical processes at the cellular and subcellular levels

Dual-pore glass chips for cell-attached single-channel recordings
Brandon R. Bruhn, Haiyan Liu, Stefan Schuhladen, Alan J. Hunt, Aghapi Mordovanakis and Michael Mayer  
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 2410-2417
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00370E

Graphical abstract: Dual-pore glass chips for cell-attached single-channel recordings

In situ fabrication of a temperature- and ethanol-responsive smart membrane in a microchip
Yi-Meng Sun, Wei Wang, Yun-Yan Wei, Nan-Nan Deng, Zhuang Liu, Xiao-Jie Ju, Rui Xie and Liang-Yin Chu  
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 2418-2427
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00273C

Graphical abstract: In situ fabrication of a temperature- and ethanol-responsive smart membrane in a microchip

Multiphase optofluidics on an electro-microfluidic platform powered by electrowetting and dielectrophoresis
Shih-Kang Fan and Fu-Min Wang  
Lab Chip, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00317A

Graphical abstract: Multiphase optofluidics on an electro-microfluidic platform powered by electrowetting and dielectrophoresis

Deformability-based microfluidic cell pairing and fusion
Burak Dura, Yaoping Liu and Joel Voldman  
Lab Chip, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00303A

Graphical abstract: Deformability-based microfluidic cell pairing and fusion

Paired single cell co-culture microenvironments isolated by two-phase flow with continuous nutrient renewal
Yu-Chih Chen, Yu-Heng Cheng, Hong Sun Kim, Patrick N. Ingram, Jacques E. Nor and Euisik Yoon  
Lab Chip, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00391H

Graphical abstract: Paired single cell co-culture microenvironments isolated by two-phase flow with continuous nutrient renewal

Inertial microfluidic physics
Hamed Amini, Wonhee Lee and Dino Di Carlo  
Lab Chip, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00128A

Graphical abstract: Inertial microfluidic physics

Nanocrystal synthesis in microfluidic reactors: where next?
Thomas W. Phillips, Ioannis G. Lignos, Richard M. Maceiczyk, Andrew J. deMello and John C. deMello  
Lab Chip, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00429A

Graphical abstract: Nanocrystal synthesis in microfluidic reactors: where next?
Diffusion-based microfluidic PCR for “one-pot” analysis of cells
Sai Ma, Despina Nelie Loufakis, Zhenning Cao, Yiwen Chang, Luke E. K. Achenie and Chang Lu  
Lab Chip, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00498A 

Graphical abstract: Diffusion-based microfluidic PCR for “one-pot” analysis of cells
 *Free access to individuals is provided through an RSC Publishing personal account. It’s quick, easy and more importantly – free – to register!

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Microfluidic valves and pumps for all

Written by Alphonsus Ng, Toronto University, web writer for Lab on a Chip

Over the years, the materials used to make microfluidic devices have dictated the progress of the field. The development of early silicon and glass devices progressed very slowly because the fabrication methods required to make these devices were prohibitively expensive and inaccessible.1 Since the arrival of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based devices made by elastomeric micromolding or “soft lithography” in 1998,2 the pace of microfluidic technology development has increased dramatically. For example, between 1998 and 2010, the number of microfluidic-related publications increased from hundreds to thousands per year.3 These developments were fueled by the simplicity of PDMS-soft lithography, and more importantly, the ability of PDMS to form pneumatic valves and pumps.4

Although soft lithography has become one of the most popular methods for microfluidic fabrication, clean room processes are still needed to make a micromold, and PDMS is not compatible with existing high-throughput manufacturing methods.1 For these reasons and others, researchers are developing alternative methods for device fabrication. For example, Dr. Cooksey at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg and Prof. Atencia at the University of Maryland developed techniques to create microfluidic devices from cut-off laminates and double-sided tapes.5 Their article, which featured as a cover in Lab on a Chip, showed how these film-based devices can be rapidly fabricated without a cleanroom using in-expensive materials and widely available equipment (e.g. razor cutter, laser cutter).

Like conventional PDMS-devices, these film-based devices can support pneumatic valves and pumps by sandwiching a thin layer of PDMS between two layers of film with cut-out channels. Accurate alignment between these layers is achieved using a self-alignment strategy, in which features of adjacent layers are mirrored across a folding line on a single piece of tape. To demonstrate valve functionality, Cooksey and Atencia created a device that uses 3 valves to control flow from 3 fluidic inputs, and one that uses 8 valves to control a 2-inlet rotary mixer.

One interesting feature of this technology is that very thin devices can be formed (less than 0.5 mm), which enables the fabrication of devices with many layers. For example, using the self-alignment strategy, the researchers fabricated a 6-layer device comprising a valve layer and five fluidic layers that form liquid chambers of varying heights.

Perhaps the most fascinating trait of this technology is the ability to fold devices into 3D structures with fully functioning valves. As shown in the figure below, the researchers assembled a 3D microfluidic cube that can deliver reagents to specific locations on the cube using the fluid channels routed through the walls. The researchers filled the cube with agar and used it to study the chemotaxis of C. elegans. Within two hours, the worms migrated from the center of the cube toward the face introduced with food, and promptly moved away when the food was switched to a repellent.

In summary, Dr. Cooksey and Prof. Atencia developed a rapid prototyping technique that can create film-based devices with the similar valve functionalities as conventional PDMS-based devices. But because these devices are very thin, more complicated and unique devices structures can be created. This technology has the potential uncover new applications for microfluidics, and make microfluidic technologies more accessible to non-engineers (e.g. biologists and clinicians).


1.            E. K. Sackmann, A. L. Fulton and D. J. Beebe, Nature, 2014, 507, 181-189.

2.            D. C. Duffy, J. C. McDonald, O. J. A. Schueller and G. M. Whitesides, Analytical Chemistry, 1998, 70, 4974-4984.

3.            E. Berthier, E. W. K. Young and D. Beebe, Lab on a Chip, 2012, 12, 1224-1237.

4.            M. A. Unger, H.-P. Chou, T. Thorsen, A. Scherer and S. R. Quake, Science, 2000, 288, 113-116.

5.            Pneumatic valves in folded 2D and 3D fluidic devices made from plastic films and tapes, Gregory A. Cooksey and Javier Atencia, Lab on a Chip, 2-14, 14, 1665-1668

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Free access to HOT Articles

These HOT articles were recommended by our referees and are free to access for 4 weeks*

Fluoropolymer surface coatings to control droplets in microfluidic devices
Carson T. Riche, Chuchu Zhang, Malancha Gupta and Noah Malmstadt  
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 1834-1841
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00087K
Graphical abstract: Fluoropolymer surface coatings to control droplets in microfluidic devices
Microfluidic generation of chitosan/CpG oligodeoxynucleotide nanoparticles with enhanced cellular uptake and immunostimulatory properties
Song Chen, Huijie Zhang, Xuetao Shi, Hongkai Wu and Nobutaka Hanagata  
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 1842-1849
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00015C

Graphical abstract: Microfluidic generation of chitosan/CpG oligodeoxynucleotide nanoparticles with enhanced cellular uptake and immunostimulatory properties
Magnetically controllable 3D microtissues based on magnetic microcryogels
Wei Liu, Yaqian Li, Siyu Feng, Jia Ning, Jingyu Wang, Maling Gou, Huijun Chen, Feng Xu and Yanan Du  
Lab Chip, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00081A

Graphical abstract: Magnetically controllable 3D microtissues based on magnetic microcryogels

Straightforward 3D hydrodynamic focusing in femtosecond laser fabricated microfluidic channels
Petra Paiè, Francesca Bragheri, Rebeca Martinez Vazquez and Roberto Osellame  
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 1826-1833
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00133H

Graphical abstract: Straightforward 3D hydrodynamic focusing in femtosecond laser fabricated microfluidic channels

Dielectrophoresis-based purification of antibiotic-treated bacterial subpopulations
Meltem Elitas, Rodrigo Martinez-Duarte, Neeraj Dhar, John D. McKinney and Philippe Renaud  
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 1850-1857
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00109E

Graphical abstract: Dielectrophoresis-based purification of antibiotic-treated bacterial subpopulations

Simple, low cost MHz-order acoustomicrofluidics using aluminium foil electrodes
Amgad R. Rezk, James R. Friend and Leslie Y. Yeo  
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 1802-1805
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00182F

Graphical abstract: Simple, low cost MHz-order acoustomicrofluidics using aluminium foil electrodes

Elevating sampling Joseph M. Labuz and Shuichi Takayama  
Lab Chip, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00125G

Graphical abstract: Elevating sampling
 
Microfluidic investigation of the deposition of asphaltenes in porous media
Chuntian Hu, James E. Morris and Ryan L. Hartman  
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 2014-2022
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00192C

Graphical abstract: Microfluidic investigation of the deposition of asphaltenes in porous media

Integrating microfluidic generation, handling and analysis of biomimetic giant unilamellar vesicles
D. J. Paterson, J. Reboud, R. Wilson, M. Tassieri and J. M. Cooper  
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 1806-1810
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00199K

Graphical abstract: Integrating microfluidic generation, handling and analysis of biomimetic giant unilamellar vesicles
 Microfluidics for single-cell genetic analysis
A. M. Thompson, A. L. Paguirigan, J. E. Kreutz, J. P. Radich and D. T. Chiu  
Lab Chip, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00175C

Graphical abstract: Microfluidics for single-cell genetic analysis

A simple strategy for in situ fabrication of a smart hydrogel microvalve within microchannels for thermostatic control
Shuo Lin, Wei Wang, Xiao-Jie Ju, Rui Xie and Liang-Yin Chu  
Lab Chip, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00039K

Graphical abstract: A simple strategy for in situ fabrication of a smart hydrogel microvalve within microchannels for thermostatic control

Caterpillar locomotion-inspired valveless pneumatic micropump using a single teardrop-shaped elastomeric membrane
Hongyun So, Albert P. Pisano and Young Ho Seo  
Lab Chip, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3LC51298C

Graphical abstract: Caterpillar locomotion-inspired valveless pneumatic micropump using a single teardrop-shaped elastomeric membrane

Microfluidic chip for plasma separation from undiluted human whole blood samples using low voltage contactless dielectrophoresis and capillary force
Chia-Chern Chen, Po-Hsiu Lin and Chen-Kuei Chung  
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 1996-2001
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00196F

Graphical abstract: Microfluidic chip for plasma separation from undiluted human whole blood samples using low voltage contactless dielectrophoresis and capillary force

Influenza A virus-specific aptamers screened by using an integrated microfluidic system
Hsien-Chih Lai, Chih-Hung Wang, Tong-Miin Liou and Gwo-Bin Lee  
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 2002-2013
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00187G

Graphical abstract: Influenza A virus-specific aptamers screened by using an integrated microfluidic system

Energy: the microfluidic frontier
David Sinton  
Lab Chip, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00267A

Graphical abstract: Energy: the microfluidic frontier

Patent protection and licensing in microfluidics
Ali K. Yetisen and Lisa R. Volpatti  
Lab Chip, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00399C

Graphical abstract: Patent protection and licensing in microfluidics

*Free access to individuals is provided through an RSC Publishing personal account. It’s quick, easy and more importantly – free – to register!

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We’ve got more in the Top 10%

So. We take the articles that get the highest scores during peer review and we make them HOT. Then we send that shortlist to the Lab on a Chip Editor to choose the Top 10%. These papers demonstrate breakthroughs in device technology or methodology, or demonstrate important new results.

Today we add three more to the Top 10% collection!


Frontier Article

Elevating sampling, Joseph M. Labuz and Suichi Takayama, DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00125G

Does the effectiveness of sample preparation stand in the way of demonstrating new technology? This article highlights recent successes as well as assesses current challenges and opportunity in the area of sample collection and prep in micro- and nanofluidics.


Research Paper

Influenza A virus-specific aptamers screened by using an integrated microfluidic system, Hsien-Chih Lai, Chih-Hung Wang, Tong-Miin Liou and Gwo-Bin Lee, DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00187G

Early and rapid diagnosis of the influenza A virus is crucial in preventing and controlling outbreaks. In this paper, a microfluidic system was used to screen an aptamer for the influenza virus, in an automated and highly efficient manner.


Focus Article

Patent protection and licensing in microfluidics, Ali K. Yetisen and Lisa R. Volpatti, DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00399C

Is your microfluidic device ready for a patent? Authors aim to overview the terminology in patent law, describe the process of filing for a patent, discuss strategies for licencing a patent and explain tactics to defend an existing patent.




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Top ten most accessed LOC articles in Q1 2014

This month sees the following articles in Lab on a Chip that are in the top ten most accessed January – March:-

Continuous focusing of microparticles using inertial lift force and vorticity via multi-orifice microfluidic channels 
Jae-Sung Park, Suk-Heung Song and Hyo-Il Jung 
Lab Chip, 2009,9, 939-948 
DOI: 10.1039/B813952K  
  
Paper-based microfluidic point-of-care diagnostic devices 
Ali Kemal Yetisen, Muhammad Safwan Akram and Christopher R. Lowe    
Lab Chip, 2013,13, 2210-2251
DOI: 10.1039/C3LC50169H  
 
Rare cell isolation and analysis in microfluidics 
Yuchao Chen, Peng Li, Po-Hsun Huang, Yuliang Xie, John D. Mai, Lin Wang, Nam-Trung Nguyen and Tony Jun Huang    
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 626-645
DOI: 10.1039/C3LC90136J  
  
Droplet microfluidics 
Shia-Yen Teh, Robert Lin, Lung-Hsin Hung and Abraham P. Lee    
Lab Chip, 2008,8, 198-220
DOI: 10.1039/B715524G  
  
Lab-in-a-pen: a diagnostics format familiar to patients for low-resource settings 
Max M. Gong, Brendan D. MacDonald, Trung Vu Nguyen, Kinh Van Nguyen and David Sinton    
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 957-963
DOI: 10.1039/C3LC51185E  
 
Dielectrophoresis switching with vertical sidewall electrodes for microfluidic flow cytometry 
Lisen Wang, Lisa A. Flanagan, Noo Li Jeon, Edwin Monuki and Abraham P. Lee    
Lab Chip, 2007,7, 1114-1120
DOI: 10.1039/B705386J  
 
Particle separation using virtual deterministic lateral displacement (vDLD) 
David J. Collins, Tuncay Alan and Adrian Neild    
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 1595-1603
DOI: 10.1039/C3LC51367J  
 
Light-assisted direct-write of 3D functional biomaterials 
Kolin C. Hribar, Pranav Soman, John Warner, Peter Chung and Shaochen Chen    
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 268-275 
DOI: 10.1039/C3LC50634G 
 
Wettability patterning for high-rate, pumpless fluid transport on open, non-planar microfluidic platforms 
Aritra Ghosh, Ranjan Ganguly, Thomas M. Schutzius and Constantine M. Megaridis    
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 1538-1550
DOI: 10.1039/C3LC51406D 
 
Automated analysis of dynamic behavior of single cells in picoliter droplets 
Mohammad Ali Khorshidi, Prem Kumar Periyannan Rajeswari, Carolina Wählby, Haakan N. Joensson and Helene Andersson Svahn    
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 931-937
DOI: 10.1039/C3LC51136G  

Why not take a look at the articles today and blog your thoughts and comments below.

Fancy submitting an article to Lab on a Chip? Then why not submit to us today or alternatively email us your suggestions

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New UTube videos

Imaging adherent cell in microfluidic channel hidden by flowing RBCs as occluding objects by holographic method 

 
 
  
Microdevice arrays of high aspect ratio Poly(DiMethylSiloxane) pillars for the investigation of multicellular tumour spheroid mechanical properties 

 
   
Event-Triggered Logical Flow Control for Comprehensive Process Integration of Multi-Step Assays on Centrifugal Microfluidic Platforms 

 
 
  
Phaseguide assisted liquid lamination for magnetic particle-based assays 

 
   
Preparation of Monodisperse Microbubbles using an Integrated Embedded Capillary T-Junction with Electrohydrodynamic Focusing 

 
 
  
Hydrogel Bioprinted Microchannel Networks for Vascularization of Tissue Engineering Constructs 

 
 
   
A high-efficiency microfluidic device for size-selective trapping and sorting 

 
 
  
In-fiber integrated optofluidic device based on optical fiber with an inner core 

 
 
  
Automated single cell microbioreactor for monitoring intracellular dynamics and cell growth in free solution 

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Free access to HOT articles

These HOT articles were recommended by our referees and are free to access for 4 weeks*

Pneumatic valves in folded 2D and 3D fluidic devices made from plastic films and tapes
Gregory A. Cooksey and Javier Atencia  
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 1665-1668
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00173G, Technical Innovation

Graphical abstract: Pneumatic valves in folded 2D and 3D fluidic devices made from plastic films and tapes
Reconfigurable microfluidics with integrated aptasensors for monitoring intercellular communication
Timothy Kwa, Qing Zhou, Yandong Gao, Ali Rahimian, Lydia Kwon, Ying Liu and Alexander Revzin  
Lab Chip, 2014,14, 1695-1704
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00037D, Paper

Graphical abstract: Reconfigurable microfluidics with integrated aptasensors for monitoring intercellular communication
Smartphone technology can be transformative to the deployment of lab-on-chip diagnostics
David Erickson, Dakota O’Dell, Li Jiang, Vlad Oncescu, Abdurrahman Gumus, Seoho Lee, Matthew Mancuso and Saurabh Mehta  
Lab Chip, 2014, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C4LC00142G, Frontier

Graphical abstract: Smartphone technology can be transformative to the deployment of lab-on-chip diagnostics
*Free access to individuals is provided through an RSC Publishing personal account. It’s quick, easy and more importantly – free – to register!

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New UTube videos

The Microfluidic Puzzle: Chip-oriented Rapid Prototyping 
 
  
 
Fluoropolymer surface coatings to control droplets in microfluidic devices 
 
 
  
Integrating microfluidic generation, handling and analysis of biomimetic giant unilamellar vesicles 
   

Caterpillar Locomotion–inspired Valveless Pneumatic Micropump using Single Teardrop-shaped Elastomeric Membrane 
 
   
  
In-fiber integrated optofluidic device based on optical fiber with an inner core 
 
 
  
Solvent Immersion Imprint Lithography 
 
 
    
Dielectrophoresis-based purification of antibiotic-treated bacterial subpopulations 
 
   
 
Shaken and Stirred: Oscillatory Segmented Flow for Controlled Size-Evolution of Colloidal Nanomaterials 
 
 
  
Particles Optical Trapping and Binding in Optofluidic Stable Fabry–Pérot Resonator with Single-Sided Injection 

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