Digital microfluidics

Annu Rev Anal Chem (Palo Alto Calif). 2012;5:413-40. doi: 10.1146/annurev-anchem-062011-143028. Epub 2012 Apr 9.


Digital microfluidics (DMF) is an emerging liquid-handling technology that enables individual control over droplets on an open array of electrodes. These picoliter- to microliter-sized droplets, each serving as an isolated vessel for chemical processes, can be made to move, merge, split, and dispense from reservoirs. Because of its unique advantages, including simple instrumentation, flexible device geometry, and easy coupling with other technologies, DMF is being applied to a wide range of fields. In this review, we summarize the state of the art of DMF technology from the perspective of analytical chemistry in sections describing the theory of droplet actuation, device fabrication and integration, and applications.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques / instrumentation
  • Chemistry Techniques, Analytical / instrumentation
  • DNA / analysis
  • Enzyme Assays / instrumentation
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / instrumentation
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Proteomics / instrumentation


  • DNA