Microfluidics, a technology characterized by the engineered manipulation of fluids at the submillimetre scale, has shown considerable promise for improving diagnostics and biology research. In microfluidics field the fluid phenomena that dominate liquids at this length scale are measurably different from those that dominate at the macroscale. For example, the relative effect of the force produced by gravity at microscale dimensions is greatly reduced compared to its dominance at the macroscale. Conversely, surface tension and capillary forces are more dominant at the microscale; these forces can be used for a variety of tasks, such as passively pumping fluids in microchannels; precisely patterning surfaces with user-defined substrates; filtering various analytes; and forming monodisperse droplets in multiphase fluid streams for a variety of applications. These examples represent only a fraction of the myriad problems that microfluidic technologies have attempted to address.
Certain properties of microfluidic technologies, such as rapid sample processing and the precise control of fluids in an assay, have made them attractive candidates to replace traditional experimental approaches. Microfluidics provides a great opportunity to create devices capable of outperforming classical techniques in biomedical and chemical research.
Microfluidic devise is represented by a chip manufactured of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and sealed with a glass substrate. Required topology is imprinted on the PDMS replica by “soft lithography” method.
The main advantages of microfluidics are reduced reagent consumption, reduced time and cost of analysis, and increased sensitivity of the detection system.
In our Department we work in close collaboration with the First Pavlov State Medical University of St. Petersburg, Institute for Analytical Instrumentation of RAS and commercial company INVITRO.