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Top Story

Microfluidics using popular interlocking blocks

The field of microfluidics involves minute devices that precisely manipulate fluids at submillimeter scales. Such devices typically take the form of flat, 2-D chips, etched with tiny channels and ports that are arranged to perform various operations, such as mixing, sorting, pumping and storing fluids as they flow. Now, researchers looking beyond such lab-on-a-chip designs have found an alternative microfluidics platform in "interlocking, injection-molded blocks" -- or, as most of us know them, LEGO bricks. For now, a LEGO-based microfluidic device could be used to manipulate biological fluids and perform tasks such as sorting cells, filtering fluids and encapsulating molecules in individual droplets. The team is currently designing a website that will contain information on how others can design their own fluidic bricks using standard LEGO pieces.

Visit Website | Image credit: Melanie Gonick/MIT