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A Review of Heating and Temperature Control in Microfluidic Systems: Techniques and Applications

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Author(s): Vincent Miralles | Axel Huerre | Florent Malloggi | Marie-Caroline Jullien

Journal: Diagnostics
ISSN 2075-4418

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 33;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: heating | temperature | microfluidics

ABSTRACT
This review presents an overview of the different techniques developed over the last decade to regulate the temperature within microfluidic systems. A variety of different approaches has been adopted, from external heating sources to Joule heating, microwaves or the use of lasers to cite just a few examples. The scope of the technical solutions developed to date is impressive and encompasses for instance temperature ramp rates ranging from 0.1 to 2,000 °C/s leading to homogeneous temperatures from −3 °C to 120 °C, and constant gradients from 6 to 40 °C/mm with a fair degree of accuracy. We also examine some recent strategies developed for applications such as digital microfluidics, where integration of a heating source to generate a temperature gradient offers control of a key parameter, without necessarily requiring great accuracy. Conversely, Temperature Gradient Focusing requires high accuracy in order to control both the concentration and separation of charged species. In addition, the Polymerase Chain Reaction requires both accuracy (homogeneous temperature) and integration to carry out demanding heating cycles. The spectrum of applications requiring temperature regulation is growing rapidly with increasingly important implications for the physical, chemical and biotechnological sectors, depending on the relevant heating technique.
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