With its continuous progress, microfluidics has become a key enabling technology in biological research. During the past few years, the major growth of microfluidics shifted to the introduction of new materials in making microfluidic chips, primarily driven by the demand of versatile strategies to interface microfluidics with biological cell studies. Although polydimethylsiloxane is still used as primary frame material, hydrogels have been increasingly employed in cell-culture related applications. Moreover, plastics and paper are attracting more attention in commercial device fabrication. Aiming to reflect this trend, current review focuses on the progress of microfluidic chip materials over the time span of January 2011 through June 2013, and provides critical discussion of the resulting major new tools in biological research.
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