Microfluidics refers to the science that precisely controls and operates fluids in channels with dimensions of tens of micrometers. It is the scientific study of the behavior of fluids that are usually in the range of microliters (10-6) to picolitres (10-12). This multidisciplinary field of fluids includes engineering, biochemistry, nanotechnology, physics, chemistry, and biotechnology.
The field of microfluidics is highly potential for influencing the subject areas from chemical synthesis and biological analysis to optics and information technology. Microfluidics deals in the practical applications of design systems that process low volumes of fluids for achieving multiplexing, automation, and high-throughput screening. This field emerged for use in DNA chips, lab-on-a-chip technology, micro-propulsion, and micro-thermal technologies. It is an essential tool for biotechnology and life science research.
This attractive technology is most beneficial for the researchers because it helps in –
- Decreasing sample and reagent consumptions
- Shorten the time of experiments
- Reduces the overall cost of applications
Microfluidics for biotechnology
The advanced microfluidics lab-on-a-chip applications help boost biotechnological research, which is not possible with the traditional methods. Microfluidics offers different applications to the essential demands of biotechnologists. There is progressive use of microfluidics within biotechnology for four emerging fields. These fields include the phenotypic screening of cells, the analysis of microbial population heterogeneity, organ-on-a-chip approaches, and synthetic co-cultures. The use of microfluidics lab-on-a-chip devices is rapidly expanding for their application in biotechnology in the last few years. There are many start-up companies nowadays that are offering specialized microfluidics solutions in different applications and scientific questions.
What microfluidics offers to biotechnologists?
To explain the need for microfluidics techniques for biotechnological research, we will list the unique strengths of microfluidics in this blog. Microfluidics systems are the channels occupied with fluids in the range of few micrometers to a few hundred micrometers. The significant advantage of microfluidics is that it uses only small volumes of liquid samples with precise handling. Thus, it offers cost-effective and hi-end diagnostic results that are potentially relevant for biotechnology researches.
· Low Reagent Consumption
The first advantage of using the microfluidic devices is that it uses only small amounts of reagents (components) because of the small dimensions. Thus, it is useful when details such as reagents or enzymes are difficult to purify or hard to analyze. Moreover, the small volume is also advantageous in risky reagents as their amount can be reduced in microfluidic applications.
· High surface to volume ratio
The next advantage of microfluidics is that the system provides a very high surface-to-volume ratio. Thus, this helps in allowing fast mass and heat transport necessary for various applications such as biotransformation. Microfluidics is suitable for applications where the reactions of the reagents take place on surfaces. For proper sensing, the specific antibodies are immobilized to the surfaces and concentrations.
· High-throughput applications
Microfluidics is also suitable for high-throughput applications such as screening experiments because of its low working volumes and ability to parallelize reaction sites. Droplet microfluidics is one of the commercially available methods in microfluidics. In this, the water-in-oil or oil-in-water droplets are created at a controlled volume and speed. In contrast to the traditional methods, microfluidic devices give excellent abilities for high parallelization due to their small dimensions.
· Portable Systems
The invention of microfluidics aimed to develop a system that integrates all instrumentation and analysis features of a laboratory and provides a portable system.
Choosing microfluidics rather than any other conventional measuring device
Due to the low volumes for sample requirements, this microfluidic technology is a promising alternative to many conventional laboratory techniques. Microfluidic technology allows complete laboratory procedures on a single chip of few square centimeters. Most often, microfluidics is used in ‘lab on a chip” and “organ on a chip” technology. But, you can also apply microfluidics to several applications such as –
- Cosmetics (emulsions & formulations)
- Pharmaceuticals (drug discovery)
- Health (personalized medicine & diagnosis)
- Chemistry (flow synthesis & stoichiometry)
- Biology (cell culture and 3D printing)
- Energy (EOR models plasma confinement)
MicroFluere by Optofluidic Bioassay powered by microfluidics
The MicroFluere ® plate by Optofluidic Bioassay has microfluidic units arranged in a pre-coated 96 well plates. The microfluidic unit by our team has a liquid inlet, a clear detection channel containing micro-posts, and a fluid outlet. The samples and the reagents flow through a funnel-shaped structure through an embedded microfluidic channel in this unit.
So, look no further and contact Optofluidic Bioassay now for the best microfluidic technology-based plates for laboratory tests.