Advances in the fields of proteomics and genomics have necessitated the development of high-throughput screening methods (HTS) for the systematic transformation of large amounts of biological chemical data into an organized database of knowledge. Microfluidic systems are ideally suited for high-throughput biochemical experimentation since they offer high analytical throughput, consume minute quantities of expensive biological reagents, exhibit superior sensitivity and functionality compared to traditional micro-array techniques and can be integrated within complex experimental work flows. A range of basic biochemical and molecular biological operations have been transferred to chip-based microfluidic formats over the last decade, including gene sequencing, emulsion PCR, immunoassays, electrophoresis, cell-based assays, expression cloning and macromolecule blotting. This review highlights some of the recent advances in the application of microfluidics to biochemistry and molecular biology.
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