A reconfigurable stick-n-play modular microfluidic system using magnetic interconnects†
A reconfigurable “stick-n-play” modular microfluidic system that can be assembled, disassembled, reconfigured and assembled again for building different integrated microfluidic systems is presented. Magnetic interconnects, comprising ring magnets and sealing gaskets, are integrated into each microfluidic module's inlet(s) and outlet(s) for both module-to-module and world-to-chip fluidic interconnects. The magnetic interconnects reversibly “stick” each individual microfluidic module together and provide leak-free fluidic communication between connected microfluidic modules in order to form a larger integrated microfluidic system. Because of the magnetic interconnects, connected microfluidic modules can be easily disconnected, reconfigured and connected again to form a different integrated microfluidic system. Using a fused deposition modeling (FDM)/fused filament fabrication (FFF)-based 3D printer, a reconfigurable stick-n-play modular microfluidic system, comprising a serpentine channel base platform and various microfluidic modules as well as inlet/outlet modules for world-to-chip fluidic interconnects, was first 3D printed. Magnetic interconnects were then integrated into each 3D printed module. Finally, the stick-n-play modular microfluidic system was used to demonstrate its reconfigurability to build various integrated microfluidic systems by simply and reversibly sticking various modules together. Based on the magnetic interconnects, customized multi-dimensional stick-n-play modular microfluidic systems can be easily designed and built providing a convenient platform for designing large scale microfluidic systems.