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Milli- and Microfluidics: an insight

The study of microfluidics is a multidisciplinary field that includes parts of Physics, Chemistry, Engineering and Biotechnology. It studies the behavior of fluids at the microscale and also includes the design of systems where very small amounts of fluid are used.
One important effect is that the surface-to-volume ratio is very high, so any chemical reaction in a microfluid is greatly accelerated.There are already several commercial devices that make use of microfluidics, such as certain DNA arrays and laboratories on a chip (lab-on-a-chip).

Behavior of liquids on a microscale

The behavior of fluids on the microscale may differ from macrofluids in factors such as surface tension, energy dissipation, and fluidic resistance at the beginning to dominate the system. Microfluidics studies these behavioral changes and how they can be avoided or exploited for new uses.

On a small scale (diameters between 100 nanometers and several hundred micrometers, approximately) some properties of special interest appear. The Reynolds number, which characterizes the presence of turbulent flow, is extremely low, so laminar flow will be maintained. In this way, joining two fluids could not easily mix through turbulence, so the diffusion must be done by itself in the two fluids to be mixed.

The small difference between milli- and microfluidics

Millifluidics involves manipulating and observing fluids in channels that are 1 millimeter across. And while millifluidics uses larger amounts of fluid than microfluidics, it’s still a minimal amount compared to tests performed with traditional testing methods.

Millifluidic channels can often achieve the same level of fluid mixing as microfluidic channels, depending on the project requirements. Millifluidics offer many of the same benefits as microfluidics, but millifluidic chips are often easier and cheaper to manufacture

Application areas

Advances in microfluidic technology are revolutionizing molecular biology in enzymatic analysis procedures (e.g. glucose and lactate assays), DNA analysis (eg polymerase chain reaction and high throughput sequencing), and proteomics. The basic idea of microfluidic biochips is to integrate assay operations such as detection as well as sample pre-treatment and sample preparation on one chip.

A new area of application for biochips is clinical pathology, especially the immediate point of care for diagnosing diseases. Additionally, device-based microfluidics are capable of continuous, real-time sampling of air / water sample testing for biochemical analyzes of toxins and other dangerous pathogens.

bionic surface technologies expertise

Due to the extensive expertise of bionic surface technologies, the company is part of several research projects in the field of milli- and microfluidics.

NeGeMi

Bionic Surface Technologies is member of Microfluidics Innovation Hub (MIH), which offers its customers a single entry point to a wide range of existing cutting edge microfluidic technologies from Europe’s top research centres and companies, covering the entire value chain to accelerate the demonstration of exciting new scientific breakthroughs towards a working prototype, and beyond into mass manufacturing.

BST works along the entire value chain in the development of microfluidic lab-on-a-foil systems and offer services for the development and production of these systems for companies – from start-ups to large-scale industry.

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SIMslider

SIMslider targets the analytical description of the roller-based nanoimprinting process and the development of universal design rules for printable micro- and nanostructures.

The fluid-dynamic simulation of imprint resins during the coating procedure, the filling of patterns, the simulation of the resin chemistry during a very fast polymerization and mechanical simulations of the demolding process allows the prediction of process parameters over large areas and an evaluation of the industrial producibility of predefined structures

R2R Microfluidics

From 2015 to 2019, BST was also part of an international consortium for the “R2R Biofluidics” project. The main goal was the development of biomedical in-vitro diagnostic systems. Using a role-to-role method, two demonstrations were developed that could be used in rapid medical diagnostics.

The company was responsible for all microfluidic simulations of fluid mechanics

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