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Microfluid chip

Microfluid chip in the field of microfluidics

Microfluid chips are part of the field of microfluidics, which is an intersecting field between engineering, chemistry, physics and biochemistry. Microfluids were first used in the eighties in the development of ink for printers, and also for DNA chips. In most instances in microfluidics fluids are transported, mixed or separated in order to process information. This is also what happens in a microfluid chip, in the chips there are a number of channels that direct a certain fluid in a direction. This way the fluid can be mixed, separated or just transported. The network of channels in connected to the outside, and this way information is transported to the doctor, or other practitioner.

Microfluid chip, different types

Over the years there have been many different types of a microfluid chip. The list below lists a number of the most popular chips of the past decades.

  • 1950: the first transistor was developed
  • 1960: technology such as photolithography was developed in space programs
  • 1980: silicon was discovered to be very helpful in building chips
  • 1990: the first glass microfluid chip was developed, a lot of attention was paid to developing laboratories on a chip
  • 2000: use of polymers like PDMS in chips

Where are these chips applied?

Due to the small area the chips cover and the amount of information such a chip can hold, they have found many application field. In general, the microfluid chips are mainly used in medicine, cell biology, and in protein crystallization. Especially in medicine the chips have great value, due to the laboratories on a chip the doctors are able to treat patients a lot faster and this way a lot more lives are saved. Next to this there is great potential in replacing cells with these chips.

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