Tricks and Tips to Enhance your Microfluidic Flow Control

Improve your Syringe Pump

microfluidics flow contol oscillation syringe pumpSyringe pumps are the most commonly used flow control systems in microfluidics. Despite their sturdiness & simplicity, syringe pumps are often problematic in microfluidics because the oscillation flow and the response time can drastically change from a few seconds to several hours depending on the fluid compliance of the microfluidic setup.

Need advice to improve your syringe pump for microfluidics ?

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Strengths & Weaknesses of Syringe Pumps in Microfluidics

Strengths

  • Fast setup
  • Easy to measure the dispensed liquid amount
  • Up to several hundred bars generated
  • No variations in the meant flow rate

Weaknesses

  • Settling time
  • Difficulty to know the real flow rate during the transient period
  • Generated pressure increases without limit
  • Impossibility of controlling the flow of fluids in dead-end channels
  • Difficulty to determine the pressure inside the microfluidic device without a pressure gauge
  • Syringe type must be carefully and correctly chosen depending on experimental conditions

Find more details about the strengths & weaknesses of syringe pumps for microfluidic applications at: How to choose the right microfluidic flow control system tutorial.

Monitor in real time the flow rate coming from your syringe pump

microfluidics flow contol real flow rate syringe pump

Do you want to know the real flow rate of your syringe pump?

=> Add a Flow Sensor

A flow sensor will give you real time flow rate inside your chip. You will know when you have reached the steady state.

 Enhance the settling time of your syringe pump

microfluidics flow contol improves response time syringe pump

Do you want to speed up the flow change of your syringe pump?

=> Add a Flow Sensor with a feedback loop

The feedback loop will adjust the speed of the syringe pump motor in order to reach the desired flow rate as quickly as possible.

Increase flow stability of your syringe pump

microfluidics flow contol enhances stability syringe pumpDo you want to stabilize the flow of your syringe pump?

=> Add a Fluidic RC Filter

An RC filter is a calibrated elastic capacitance coupled with a fluidic resistance. Note that a RC filter will give you a smoother flow but it will also slow down your flow response.

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Enhance speed & stability of your syringe pump

microfluidics flow contol syringe pump faster and smootherDo you want a faster & smoother syringe pump flow?

=> Add a Fluidic RC Filter &  feedback loop

The RC filter flow will smoothen the flow inside your chip and the feedback loop will speed up your flow response.

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Monitor pressure while using syringe pump

microfluidics flow contol pressure sensor syringe pumpDo you want to use your syringe pump as a pressure pump?

=> Add a Pressure Sensor & a feedback loop

A handy solution for when you want to use your syringe pump while maintaining a given pressure in your device.

IMPROVE YOUR PRESSURE PUMP

microfluidics pressure pump flow contolPressure controllers are mainly used in microfluidics when researchers require fast flow change and pulseless flow.

Since there are no moving parts involved, pressure-driven flows are smoother no matter what the flow rate is. Pressure propagates the liquid at the speed of sound and enables very fast flow changes.

Need advice to improve your pressure pump for microfluidics ?

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Strengths & Weaknesses of Pressure Pumps in Microfluidics

Strengths

  • Pulse-free flow control
  • Flow stability as low as 0,005%
  • Dispensed liquid capacity up to several liters
  • Settling time as low as 80 ms
  • Possibility of controlling the flow of fluids in dead-end channels
  • Pressure & Flow Rate Control both in one instrument

Weaknesses

  • Limited to 8 bars maximum
  • Potential back flow when doing flow switches with multiple entries

Find more details about the strengths & weaknesses of pressure pumps for microfluidic applications at: How to choose the right microfluidic flow control system tutorial.

Control flow rate using pressure controller

microfluidics flow contol flow sensor pressure pumpDo you want to control both pressure & flow rate?

=> Add a Flow Sensor with a feedback loop

The software adjusts the pressure until the desired flow rate is reached so you can use your pressure pump as a syringe pump.

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Stop flow into microfluidic chip using pressure controller

stop flow microfluidics flow contolDo you want to instantaneously stop the flow in your chip?

=> Add a Flow Switch Matrix

The MUX flow switch matrix is designed to stop the flow in your microfluidic device in 100ms with no residual flow.

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Improve flow switching using pressure controller

valve switch microfluidics flow contolDo you want to quickly switch samples without any backflow?

=> Add a Flow Switch Matrix or a Rheodyne Valve

Valves combined with the incompressibility of liquids can help you avoid back flow contamination.

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Do single cell or droplet handling using pressure controller

vacuum and pressure pump microfluidics flow contolDo you want to precisely handle & position cells or droplets?

=> Use a Dual Vacuum & Pressure pump

Control the position of any object by controlling pressure and vacuum within the same channel.

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Monitor and control pressure anywhere in your device

microfluidics flow contol pressure pump and pressure sensorDo you want to control the pressure at a given point of your device ?

=> Add a Pressure Sensor & a feedback loop

This is also an effective way to compensate for hydrostatic pressure drift in your tank when emptying it.

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Improve your microfluidic Setup

Get a better Quake valve control system

Quake valve microfluidics flow contolDo you want to precisely control a Quake microvalve?

=> Use a 3:2 Flow Switch Matrix

A dedicated instrument with which you will be able to open or close valves in 100 ms with a position resolution of 0.005%.

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Monitor and control micro droplets

microfluidics flow contol optical measurement systemDo you want to accurately monitor the speed, size & content of your droplets?

=> Add an OptoReader

The OptoReader can detect and record any visible or fluorescent light emitted by droplet trains, and thus monitor their size, speed and content.

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Eliminate bubbles

microfluidics flow contol bubbleDo you want to eliminate bubbles from your experiment?

=> Use an Injection Loop

An injection loop enables you to automatically inject or switch the liquid in your chip without creating any bubbles.

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Measure flow rate using pressure controller without flow sensors

microfluidics flow rate easy contolDo you want to measure flow rates without buying flow sensors?

=> Add a Flow Rate & Pressure auto-fit system

An easy and zero cost way to maintain responsiveness and stability while keeping track of the real time flow rate in your channel.

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Increase the precision of your pressure controller

high precision microfluidics flow contolDo you want to control pressure with 2,5 µbar precision?

=> Use an Ultra Precision Module

This option can be switched ON & OFF to enable you to cover the full range when needed. Ideal for patch clamps and for replacing high precision hydrostatic pressure systems.

Enhance the autonomy of your setup and save time

microfluidics flow contol elveflow softwareDo you want to go on holiday?

=> Use ESI, the Elveflow Smart Interface!

Automate your experiment to improve your efficiency, simplify your task and free up your time.

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