65 E.State Street, Suit2000
Columbus, Ohio 43215
c/o Schneider Downs
Attention:Dennis R.Mowrey


"Lighting a path to the future with nano-optics."

Microfluidic Chips


Microfluidic chips are becoming more and more important in today's society.  The medical community is always looking for cheaper and faster ways to analyze all kinds of fluids and microfluidic chips are helping meet this need.  

What are microfluidic chips?  They are devices that can be as simple as a flat piece of glass or plastic with microscopic flow channels or they can be more complex devices that include electronics, optics, and micro pumps.  Microfluidic chips all have one thing in common, they move fluids from one place to another by means of the micro channels.  Some have optics incorporated in order to help the fluids in the chip get studied and this is common in medical applications.   Some microfluidic chips are used in mechanical applications where cleaning fluids or other liquids need to have "plumbing" to get them from one place to another.  

The medical field is one area where microfluidic chips are making a huge impact.  Many of them have hundreds of small cells where fluid is stored after making it's way through the flow channels and these cells can all be analyzed at the same time.  This results in microfluidic chips enabling lab analysis and researchers to move much faster to figure out our ailments.  They are also useful in inhalers and other medical misting equipment where fine sprays and mists are needed.  Microfluidic chips are used in spectrometers where body fluids are analyzed for any potential problems.   

Microfluidic chips are also used in industrial applications.   When multiple types of fluids need to be mixed, microfluidic chips can be used to do the mixing.  They have been used in the automotive industry for cleaning solutions for your car windshield.  Outside of the medical field, the most common application of microfluidic chips that most people come into contact with is inside of their ink jet printers which use microfluidic chips to spray the ink onto the paper.  

So how are they made?  There are several good methods for making them, with the most common being the plastic injection molding of microfluidic chips.  In order to injection mold plastic, you need a mold first.  The mold is created using a lithography and then etching process or else it can be created by directly diamond milling the structures into the metal of the molds.  Either way, microfluidic chips are being made by Nalux right now and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your project with you.  Give us a call and see what Nalux microfluidic chips can do for you.