Royston based microfluidics experts, Dolomite, have announced the release of a new generation of microfluidic connectors that will enable chemists and scientists to more easily benefit from advances in microfluidic technology. As part of the Mitos range of standard products that includes microfluidic chips, connectors and pumps, the Mitos circular connector will enable the fast and easy integration of microfluidic devices into new and existing systems.
Dolomite is a world leader in Microfluidics, a technology also known as ‘lab on a chip’. This is an exciting new field of science and engineering that enables very small-scale fluid control and analysis, allowing instrument manufacturers to develop smaller, more cost-effective and more powerful systems. With lab-on-a-chip technology, entire complex chemical management and analysis systems are created in a microfluidic chip and interfaced with, for example, the Mitos circular connector.
“The demand for a new generation of connectors is very high,” said Tim Landucci, Marketing Manager at Dolomite. “As the many benefits of microfluidic technology are becoming more widely understood and as microfluidic chips are becoming more complex, being able to get the fluids into and out of such small scale devices is becoming ‘the’ major design issue. At Dolomite we are working with many companies around the world on a number of projects and we are finding that connector design and production is now an important part of what we do, alongside the actual chip design and manufacture.”
The new Mitos connector enables the connection of eight, high-pressure fluid channels, and has been designed to ensure a fast, reliable connection to the surface of microfluidic chips. Manufactured in PTFE and perfluoroelastomer, the connector is chemically resistant and its design enables it to be located anywhere on a microfluidic chip, offering maximum versatility. It also has the ability to handle high pressure, up to 20 Bar.
“I think its size is quite amazing,” said Tim Landucci. “The connections are very close together, roughly 3mm apart. This makes it a very compact solution. There is not another connector on the market like this. Similar connectors are bigger and use other less versatile techniques, such as sealing the tubes to the chip with adhesive. The connector is a big achievement for our design team and we are confident that it will be widely adopted by the microfluidics community.”
Dolomite ‘s leadership in this field enabled it to win £2m funding from the UK Department of Trade and Industry’s Micro and Nano Technology (MNT) Manufacturing Initiative; this allowed Dolomite to establish excellent microfabrication facilities that include cleanrooms, precision glass processing facilities and applications laboratories. In addition to this, Dolomite has managed to attract top quality engineering and scientific staff with strong backgrounds across the broad range of disciplines required for success in bringing microfluidics applications to the market, including chemistry, biotechnology, control system development, electronics, physics and instrument design and supply.
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.