Microfluidics deals with minute volumes of fluid in a network of micrometer-scale channels and allows miniaturisation and integration of precious complex chemical, biological and physical processes. Due to the micro-scale dimensions and the resulting high surface-area-to-volume ratio microfluidic systems offer numerous advantages over conventional analytical and (bio)chemical methods, including faster reaction times, greatly enhanced analytical sensitivity, reduced sample and reagent consumption, excellent temperature control, easy automation and parallelisation, and portability. Furthermore, microfluidics offers the opportunity to integrate all benchtop laboratory routines from beginning to end in one device, also known as the “lab-on-a-chip” or “micro total analysis systems (µTAS)” concepts. As a result, literature contains thousands of reports describing almost innumerable biological, biochemical and chemical applications, making microfluidics one of the most promising and rapidly developing technologies of present time.
Due to the increased surface-area-to-volume ratio and the continuously increasing complexity of microfluidic systems control of the surface properties is essential, for instance to regulate the electro-osmotic flow (EOF) and to prevent biofouling. Via our proprietary surface modification technology the channel walls can locally be modified with our molecular nanocoating, even after bonding of the chip, i.e. inside the microchannels. Our nanocoatings possess a long-term chemical stability and allow implementation of a wide variety of terminal functional groups, like complex (bio)organic molecules such as antibodies, DNA, proteins, cells, catalytically and redox active moieties, and groups with biofouling properties.