Microfluidic applications range from combinatorial chemical synthesis to high-throughput screening, with platforms integrating analog perfusion components, digitally controlled microvalves, and a range of sensors that demand a variety of communication protocols. A comprehensive solution for microfluidic control has to support an arbitrary combination of microfluidic components and to meet the demand for easy-to-operate system as it arises from the growing community of unspecialized microfluidics users. It should also be an easy to modify and extendable platform, which offer an adequate computational resources, preferably without a need for a local computer terminal for increased mobility. Here we will describe several implementation of microfluidics control technologies and propose a microprocessor-based unit that unifies them. Integrated control can streamline the generation process of complex perfusion sequences required for sensor-integrated microfluidic platforms that demand iterative operation procedures such as calibration, sensing, data acquisition, and decision making. It also enables the implementation of intricate optimization protocols, which often require significant computational resources. System integration is an imperative developmental milestone for the field of microfluidics, both in terms of the scalability of increasingly complex platforms that still lack standardization, and the incorporation and adoption of emerging technologies in biomedical research. Here we describe a modular integration and synchronization of a complex multicomponent microfluidic platform.
Part of the book: Advances in Microfluidics