Microfluidics and soft matter: small is useful
We discuss in detail the content of the microfluidic toolboxes in the fields of soft condensed matter and biophysics, highlighting the similarities and differences. We present reasons for the differences and show that concepts from biophysics can be used in soft matter problems, and in particular the action of confinement. We illustrate this by showing how geometry, scaling behaviour and statistics can be exploited by combining microfluidics with model colloidal systems. We give relevant examples in each category and provide an outlook for studies beyond equilibrium.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Soft matter principles of microfluidics.