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Issue 14, 2012
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Microfluidic Apps for off-the-shelf instruments

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Within the last decade a huge increase in research activity in microfluidics could be observed. However, despite several commercial success stories, microfluidic chips are still not sold in high numbers in mass markets so far. Here we promote a new concept that could be an alternative approach to commercialization: designing microfluidic chips for existing off-the-shelf instruments. Such “Microfluidic Apps” could significantly lower market entry barriers and provide many advantages: developers of microfluidic chips make use of existing equipment or platforms and do not have to develop instruments from scratch; end-users can profit from microfluidics without the need to invest in new equipment; instrument manufacturers benefit from an expanded customer base due to the new applications that can be implemented in their instruments. Microfluidic Apps could be considered as low-cost disposables which can easily be distributed globally via web-shops. Therefore they could be a door-opener for high-volume mass markets.

Graphical abstract: Microfluidic Apps for off-the-shelf instruments

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Jan 2012, accepted on 30 Mar 2012 and first published on 30 Mar 2012

Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC00043A
Citation: Lab Chip, 2012,12, 2464-2468
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    Microfluidic Apps for off-the-shelf instruments

    D. Mark, F. von Stetten and R. Zengerle, Lab Chip, 2012, 12, 2464
    DOI: 10.1039/C2LC00043A

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