The application of microfluidics in biology

David Holmes, Shady Gawad
Methods in Molecular Biology 2010, 583: 55-80
Recent advances in the bio- and nanotechnologies have led to the development of novel microsystems for bio-particle separation and analysis. Microsystems are already revolutionising the way we do science and have led to the development of a number of ultrasensitive bioanalytical devices capable of analysing complex biological samples. These devices have application in a number of diverse areas such as pollution monitoring, clinical diagnostics, drug discovery and biohazard detection. In this chapter we give an overview of the physical principles governing the behaviour of fluids and particles at the micron scale, which are relevant to the operation of microfluidic devices. We briefly discuss some of the fabrication technologies used in the production of microfluidic systems and then present a number of examples of devices and applications relevant to the biological and life sciences.

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