Optofluidic devices and applications in photonics, sensing and imaging†
Optofluidics integrates the fields of photonics and microfluidics, providing new freedom to both fields and permitting the realization of optical and fluidic property manipulations at the chip scale. Optofluidics was formed only after many breakthroughs in microfluidics, as understanding of fluid behaviour at the micron level enabled researchers to combine the advantages of optics and fluids. This review describes the progress of optofluidics from a photonics perspective, highlighting various optofluidic aspects ranging from the device's property manipulation to an interactive integration between optics and fluids. First, we describe photonic elements based on the functionalities that enable fluid manipulation. We then discuss the applications of optofluidic biodetection with an emphasis on nanosensing. Next, we discuss the progress of optofluidic lenses with an emphasis on its various architectures, and finally we conceptualize on where the field may lead.