Microfluidic Automation Using Elastomeric Valves and Droplets: Reducing Reliance on External Controllers

Authors

  • Sung-Jin Kim,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA
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  • David Lai,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA
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  • Joong Yull Park,

    1. School of Mechanical Engineering, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
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  • Ryuji Yokokawa,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA
    2. Department of Microengineering, Kyoto University, Yoshida-honmachi, Sakyo, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan
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  • Shuichi Takayama

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA
    2. Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA, Division of Nano-Bio and Chemical Engineering WCU Project, UNIST, Ulsan, Republic of Korea
    • Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, USA.
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Abstract

This paper gives an overview of elastomeric valve- and droplet-based microfluidic systems designed to minimize the need of external pressure to control fluid flow. This Concept article introduces the working principle of representative components in these devices along with relevant biochemical applications. This is followed by providing a perspective on the roles of different microfluidic valves and systems through comparison of their similarities and differences with transistors (valves) and systems in microelectronics. Despite some physical limitation of drawing analogies from electronic circuits, automated microfluidic circuit design can gain insights from electronic circuits to minimize external control units, while implementing high-complexity and high-throughput analysis.

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