Next generation microfluidics: fulfilling the promise of lab-on-a-chip technologies

Umut A. Gurkan, David K. Wood, Dorn Carranza, Luke H. Herbertson, Scott L. Diamond, E. Du, Suvajyoti Guha, Jorge Di Paola, Patrick C. Hines, Ian Papautsky, Sergey S. Shevkoplyas, Nathan J. Sniadecki, Vamsee K. Pamula, Prithu Sundd, Asif Rizwan, Pankaj Qasba, Wilbur A. Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Microfluidic lab-on-a-chip technologies enable the analysis and manipulation of small fluid volumes and particles at small scales and the control of fluid flow and transport processes at the microscale, leading to the development of new methods to address a broad range of scientific and medical challenges. Microfluidic and lab-on-a-chip technologies have made a noteworthy impact in basic, preclinical, and clinical research, especially in hematology and vascular biology due to the inherent ability of microfluidics to mimic physiologic flow conditions in blood vessels and capillaries. With the potential to significantly impact translational research and clinical diagnostics, technical issues and incentive mismatches have stymied microfluidics from fulfilling this promise. We describe how accessibility, usability, and manufacturability of microfluidic technologies should be improved and how a shift in mindset and incentives within the field is also needed to address these issues. In this report, we discuss the state of the microfluidic field regarding current limitations and propose future directions and new approaches for the field to advance microfluidic technologies closer to translation and clinical use. While our report focuses on using blood as the prototypical biofluid sample, the proposed ideas and research directions can be extrapolated to other areas of hematology, oncology, biology, and medicine.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLab on a Chip
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


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