Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1 What is Microfluidics?

Microfluidics is the science of fluids on the micro- and nanometer scale. Academically, it is a subdiscipline of fluid mechanics, as the fundamental equations describing the physics of fluids at larger length scales are identical to the equations underlying microfluidics. However, compared to classical fluid mechanics, the length scales in microfluidic systems are significantly smaller. There is no clear prerequisite as to when a system can be considered as being microfluidic. In general, if one of the characteristic length scales, e.g., the height or width of a fluid system features dimensions in the micrometer range or below, such a system can be considered a microfluidic system. At these length ...

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