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Issue 10, 2020
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Reconfigurable microfluidics: real-time shaping of virtual channels through hydrodynamic forces

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Abstract

To break the current paradigm in microfluidics that directly links device design to functionality, we introduce microfluidic “virtual channels” that can be dynamically shaped in real-time. A virtual channel refers to a flow path within a microfluidic flow cell, guiding an injected reagent along a user-defined trajectory solely by hydrodynamic forces. Virtual channels dynamically reproduce key microfluidic functionality: directed transport of minute volumes of liquid, splitting, merging and mixing of flows. Virtual channels can be formed directly on standard biological substrates, which we demonstrate by sequential immunodetection at arrays of individual reaction sites on a glass slide and by alternating between local and global processing of surface-adherent cell-block sections. This approach is simple, versatile and generic enough to form the basis of a new class of microfluidic techniques.

Graphical abstract: Reconfigurable microfluidics: real-time shaping of virtual channels through hydrodynamic forces

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
26 Feb 2020
Accepted
30 Mar 2020
First published
01 Apr 2020

Lab Chip, 2020,20, 1720-1728
Article type
Paper

Reconfigurable microfluidics: real-time shaping of virtual channels through hydrodynamic forces

D. P. Taylor and G. V. Kaigala, Lab Chip, 2020, 20, 1720
DOI: 10.1039/D0LC00197J

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