Fluigent is a microfluidic company developing new tools for flow control in micro-channels and genetic testing in capillaries and chips. Fluigent employs state-of-the-art technologies in fluidic, electronics and polymer chemistry, in order to built new tools for your processes.
In the nanoliter range, the use of syringe, peristaltic or piston pumps, leads to hysteresis, long equilibration times, irreproducibility and pulsing. Existing fluid handling devices are thus often inadequately adapted to the manipulation of small fluid volumes.
Pressure or Volume Flow Control in Micro Scale
Syringe or peristaltic pumps may seem suitable for applications requiring knowledge of the transported fluid volumes. However, due to hysteresis and connections compliance, actual instantaneous flows in microchannels often have little to do with the pump's setting.
As shown below, the flow rate imposed by a syringe pump strongly depends on the tubing and microsystem characteristics. One may have stable flow rate but with very large equilibrium time, in some case exceeding hours (with elastic tubing) or at the other extremity, short response time can be achieved (with rigid tubing) but important pulsations due to mechanical hysteresis appear.
Flow Control using FASTAB Technology
Controlling flows with FASTAB technology leads to a completely different behavior. The time response is no longer dependent of the compliance of the tubing and the microsystem: as soon as the dynamic pressure is applied, the effect is instantaneous in the whole device. Besides, in many cases, calculating flows in a microfluidic network controlled by the MFCS Flow sequencer is easier and more accurate than using volume-based pumps.
MFCS Systems Developed by Fluigent
To address this problem, FLUIGENT developed the MFCS microfluidics flow control systems and accessories, based on the proprietary FASTABTM technology.
The MFCS resulting from FASTAB technology is not a simple pressure controller. It is an easy and fast means to handle fluids, whilst still allowing the measurement of the flow with a flow meter.