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Magnetic connectors for microfluidic applications



Francisco J. Atencia, Gregory A. Cooksey, Andreas Jahn, Justin M. Zook, Wyatt N. Vreeland, Laurie E. Locascio


We present a new type of connector based on a simple idea: using a ring magnet on one side of the microfluidic chip and a disc magnet on the other side to provide the interfacial force necessary to provide a sealed connection between tubing or needles and the inlets and outlets of microfluidic devices. The connectors are low-cost, simple to use and assemble, and reusable. We discuss optimization of the geometry based on FEM (Finite Element Method) simulations and provide some simple rules to choose commercially available magnets for a given application. Configurations that achieve interfacial forces in the range of 2 N to 15 N are discussed. Several types of gasket materials were explored, and a configuration that is simple to fabricate is presented for research environments. Finally, we demonstrate an application of these connectors in a microfluidic device used to generate liposomes.
Lab on A Chip


Atencia, F. , Cooksey, G. , Jahn, A. , Zook, J. , Vreeland, W. and Locascio, L. (2010), Magnetic connectors for microfluidic applications, Lab on A Chip, [online], (Accessed May 30, 2024)


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Created January 1, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017