Microfluidic devices for bioapplications

Small. 2011 Jan 3;7(1):12-48. doi: 10.1002/smll.201000946.


Harnessing the ability to precisely and reproducibly actuate fluids and manipulate bioparticles such as DNA, cells, and molecules at the microscale, microfluidics is a powerful tool that is currently revolutionizing chemical and biological analysis by replicating laboratory bench-top technology on a miniature chip-scale device, thus allowing assays to be carried out at a fraction of the time and cost while affording portability and field-use capability. Emerging from a decade of research and development in microfluidic technology are a wide range of promising laboratory and consumer biotechnological applications from microscale genetic and proteomic analysis kits, cell culture and manipulation platforms, biosensors, and pathogen detection systems to point-of-care diagnostic devices, high-throughput combinatorial drug screening platforms, schemes for targeted drug delivery and advanced therapeutics, and novel biomaterials synthesis for tissue engineering. The developments associated with these technological advances along with their respective applications to date are reviewed from a broad perspective and possible future directions that could arise from the current state of the art are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Assay / methods
  • Biotechnology / methods*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / methods*