Leading microfluidic development company Dolomite have announced the release of a new microfluidic connector that will enable engineers and scientists to interface to microfluidic chips, helping them develop and manufacture microfluidic based fluid control systems more easily. The initial design of the in-line connector has four ports and is engineered to connect easily and perform reliably.
“Microfluidic chips have had a big impact on instrument design and development,” said Mark Gilligan, Managing Director. “They enable small scale fluid control and analysis, allowing manufacturers to develop smaller, more cost-effective and more powerful systems. However, connecting and interfacing to these devices is a challenge in itself. We are confident that the new connectors that we are introducing to this market will be well received and will help reaffirm Dolomite’s commitment to developing products that enable engineers and scientists to apply microfluidic technology to their systems and products.”
The new Dolomite microfluidic connector removes the need for expensive drilled holes in the chip by incorporating the holes into the actual chip fabrication process. Using this connector fluid flow is improved, as the fluid paths are straight-in rather than perpendicular, providing a smooth linear pathway. The standard version of the new connector is a fluidic bus with four fluid input/output ports on a single integrated connector to make chip connection and disconnection simple and fast.
“This device will benefit a broad range of industries,” said Mark Gilligan. “Microfluidic devices are now being used in patient care systems, DNA testing, air pollution monitoring, fuel cell technology and drug development. It’s very much an emerging technology with a huge potential and we already have a lot of interest in this device and the benefits that it will bring.”
Dolomite has established itself as a leader in the field of microfluidics, working in chip design, chip fabrication, fluidic interfaces, flow cells, pumps, valves, detectors and integrated systems. They are also equipped with rapid prototyping facilities for the design and fabrication of glass and quartz devices and can provide low or medium volume production in glass or quartz and high volume production in polymers.
Microfluidic devices are developed using microfabrication techniques capable of creating microchannels and complex structures in the glass. The main fabrication processes are photolithography, wet etching of microchannel structures, micro-drilling of fluid ports, thermal bonding and surface modification. Dolomite are also able to undertake traditional precision glass processing techniques such as mechanical and optical polishing, grinding, cutting and dicing allowing them to extend the range of geometries that are possible.
Established in 2005 as the world’s first microfluidic application centre, Dolomite is focussed on working with customers to turn their concepts for microfluidic applications into reality. With an in-depth understanding of chemistry and the life sciences, expertise in microfabrication and microfluidics, together with instrument design and development capabilities, Dolomite is enabling some of the world’s top providers in fields as diverse as environmental monitoring, drug discovery and forensic science to deliver microfluidic systems to the market place.