This paper describes a method for prefabricating screw, pneumatic, and solenoid valves and embedding them in microfluidic devices. This method of prefabrication and embedding is simple, requires no advanced fabrication, and is compatible with soft lithography. Because prefabrication allows many identical valves to be made at one time, the performance across different valves made in the same manner is reproducible. In addition, the performance of a single valve is reproducible over many cycles of opening and closing: an embedded solenoid valve opened and closed a microfluidic channel more than 100,000 times with no apparent deterioration in its function. It was possible to combine all three types of prefabricated valves in a single microfluidic device to control chemical gradients in a microfluidic channel temporally and spatially.
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