System Integration - A Major Step toward Lab on a Chip
1 Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
2 Department of Chemical Engineering, Shandong Polytechnic University, Jinan, 250353, China
3 Department of Urology, Stanford University, 300 Pasteur Drive, S-287, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
4 Biomedical Engineering and Bio5 Institute, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Journal of Biological Engineering 2011, 5:6 doi:10.1186/1754-1611-5-6Published: 25 May 2011
Microfluidics holds great promise to revolutionize various areas of biological engineering, such as single cell analysis, environmental monitoring, regenerative medicine, and point-of-care diagnostics. Despite the fact that intensive efforts have been devoted into the field in the past decades, microfluidics has not yet been adopted widely. It is increasingly realized that an effective system integration strategy that is low cost and broadly applicable to various biological engineering situations is required to fully realize the potential of microfluidics. In this article, we review several promising system integration approaches for microfluidics and discuss their advantages, limitations, and applications. Future advancements of these microfluidic strategies will lead toward translational lab-on-a-chip systems for a wide spectrum of biological engineering applications.