H. Musyimi, S.A. Soper, K.K. Murray, On-line versus off-line analysis from a microfluidic device, in: S. Le Gac & A. van den Berg (Eds.), Miniaturization and Mass Spectrometry, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2008.
Micro-total analysis systems (μTAS) are novel platforms that address the need for high throughput and automated analysis achieved through miniaturization, integration, and multiplexing of processing and analysis elements. Integration of sample processing steps reduces analysis time, prevents sample loss, contamination and false positives while miniaturization affords the assembly of dedicated modular devices that are portable. Fast and parallel analysis of small samples volumes, using low cost disposable polymeric microfluidic devices have the potential to revolutionize point-of-care testing for clinical and diagnostic screening. The majority of emerging microfluidic devices are capable of integrated and highly multiplexed sample processing. Chemical and biochemical analyses often probe qualitative, structural and quantitative information and many efforts continue to progress towards realizing the full potential of these devices by integration with existing analytical detectors. A long term challenge lies in scaling-down traditional analytical techniques into miniaturized platforms without compromising their utility and system performance.