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Selecting the Best Microfluidics Device Material for Your In Vitro Diagnostic

Image Credit: Imt Masken

“In vitro diagnostics” is a term for a broad industry encompassing everything from benchtop or larger bioanalytical instrumentation applications such as protein analysis and next generation sequencing to point of care devices. As if in vitro diagnostic (IVD) development wasn’t difficult enough just from the biology itself, the instrumentation and platform development add layers of complexity. 

Examined here are the advantages and challenges of using a microfluidic flow cell approach for automating and miniaturizing IVDs from the standpoint of selecting the best material for the microfluidic component. The materials' strengths and weaknesses are reviewed in the context of general biological assay applications. In this context, recommendations for applications where glass can aid in achieving the desired IVD performance while still maintaining a favorable production cost are made. General guidelines for choosing materials for microfluidics-based IVDs are also provided.