Phaseguides: a paradigm shift in microfluidic priming and emptying†
Phaseguide technology gives complete control over filling and emptying of any type of microfluidic structures, independent of the chamber and channel geometry. The technique is based on a step-wise advancement of the liquid–air interface using the meniscus pinning effect. In this paper, the main effects and parameters underlying the phaseguiding principle are discussed and a demonstration is given of its potential for dead angle filling, spatially controlled phaseguide overflow and sequential phaseguide overflow, all accumulating in a passive valving approach. Phaseguides represent a new direction in microfluidic design thinking that will prove a leap forward towards more simple, flexible and reliable microfluidic systems.