Welcome to the hub of knowledge, designed specifically for inquisitive minds seeking clarity and understanding. Our FAQ section serves as a resource haven, catering to mechanical, robotic engineers, and academic enthusiasts eager to explore the intricate world of microfluidics.
Dive into a repository of frequently asked questions, meticulously curated to address queries ranging from the technical nuances of our Microfluidic Electric Rotary Valve (RVM), Sequential Microdispenser (SPM), and Laboratory Syringe Pump (LSPone), to the broader landscape of fluidic solutions. Experience the convenience of having complex concepts demystified, all in one place. Whether it’s deciphering the mechanics of our products, understanding optimal performance, or exploring applications, our FAQ section offers the insights you seek.
Should your curiosity extend beyond what’s covered here, our team is always ready to provide personalized assistance. Navigate the depths of microfluidics with confidence, supported by Advanced Microfluidics.
The RVM, or Rotary Valve Module, is a core component in AMF’s microfluidic systems, designed for precise fluid control. It stands out for its ability to efficiently regulate flow direction and fluid mixing in a compact form factor. The RVM’s strength lies in its high precision and adaptability, making it ideal for applications requiring intricate fluid handling. It offers a customizable setup, allowing for different configurations based on specific experimental or industrial requirements. This versatility, coupled with its robust design, makes the RVM an essential tool in advanced microfluidic applications.
AMF’s RVM is a standout for its customizable design, offering tailored solutions for specific applications. Clients can personalize channel diameter, valve design, and port number, ensuring optimal integration into their systems. This flexibility, combined with the valve’s precision and durability, makes it ideal for complex fluidic setups in research and industry.
AMF’s Sequential Microdispenser (SPM) is a breakthrough in precision liquid handling. It enables the automated and accurate dispensing of small liquid volumes, crucial for high-throughput screening and microscale reactions. The SPM’s design focuses on minimizing cross-contamination, ensuring precise volume control, and facilitating multiple reagent handling simultaneously. Its integration into microfluidic systems revolutionizes the efficiency and accuracy of experiments, particularly in fields like drug discovery, diagnostics, and chemical analysis. The SPM represents AMF’s commitment to advancing microfluidic technology through innovation and precision engineering.
The SPM by AMF revolutionizes microfluidic experiments with its precision in liquid dispensing and ability to handle multiple reagents simultaneously. Its design minimizes cross-contamination and ensures accurate volume control, making it a crucial tool for high-throughput screening and parallel experimentation in both research and industrial applications.
The LSPone Laboratory Syringe Pump is a versatile and precise fluid delivery system, ideal for both research and industrial applications. It offers unparalleled accuracy in fluid dispensing and withdrawal, making it suitable for a wide range of applications, from drug testing to cell culture experiments. The LSPone is designed for ease of use, with a user-friendly interface and compatibility with various syringe sizes. Its robust construction and precise control mechanisms ensure reliable and consistent performance, even in the most demanding microfluidic tasks.
The LSPone is renowned for its ease of use, making it a preferred choice for both academic and industrial settings. It offers precise flow control, a user-friendly interface, and compatibility with a wide range of syringes. This syringe pump is ideal for applications requiring meticulous fluid handling, including drug testing and cell culture experiments.
Yes, the LSPone is supplied with user-friendly operating software, LSPoneQuick Software, facilitating easy operation and integration into various experimental setups.
AMF’s valves are engineered to provide exceptional control in microfluidic systems. They feature materials like PTFE and PEEK, known for their chemical resistance and durability. These valves offer precise flow regulation, ensuring accurate fluid handling in various applications. Whether it’s for directing flow in complex pathways or controlling the mixing of reagents, our valves are designed for efficiency and reliability. Their adaptability to different system configurations and resistance to wear make them integral components in microfluidic setups.
Distribution valves in microfluidic systems are designed to control and optimize the flow distribution to various channels. These valves act as gatekeepers, adjusting the flow direction to ensure precise delivery of fluids to different destinations. Their ability to divert or halt liquid flow is vital in applications like chemical analysis, medical diagnostics, and industrial processes. The precise regulation of fluidic pathways enabled by these valves is crucial for the efficiency and accuracy of complex fluidic operations.
Switch valves serve as dynamic controllers in microfluidic systems, directing fluid flow with precision and versatility. These valves act like traffic regulators, enabling the opening, closing, or changing of fluidic pathways. This functionality is essential across various fields, including medical diagnostics, chemical analysis, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical research. They allow for controlled fluid movement, critical in experiments requiring precise manipulation of liquids.
Custom switch microfluidic valves are pivotal in experiments requiring liquid recirculation. For instance, a 2-position 6-port switch valve (VS1-6) can create a system that recirculates liquid between two vials while maintaining flow direction in a flow cell. This design is crucial for protocols where continuous or repeated exposure to the same fluid is necessary, offering a versatile solution for complex experimental setups.
On/Off valves in microfluidic systems function as binary switches that control the flow of fluids. They operate on a simple open or close mechanism, regulating fluid passage through the system. This straightforward control is essential in various applications, including sample loading, reagent mixing, and flow interruption. Their ability to precisely control fluid flow makes them indispensable in systems requiring straightforward, yet effective fluid management.
AMF’s range of valves, including distribution, switch, and On/Off valves, are engineered for precision and reliability in fluid control. These valves are designed with materials and mechanisms that ensure accurate fluid handling, essential for the diverse and often demanding applications they serve. Their robust construction and precise control capabilities make them reliable components in any microfluidic system, ensuring effective and efficient fluid management in a variety of settings.
AMF valves are designed with compatibility in mind, including SIP (Sterilization-in-Place) and CIP (Clean-in-Place) processes, ensuring they meet stringent hygiene and safety standards in various applications.
Customization is a cornerstone of AMF’s approach to microfluidic solutions. We understand that each client has unique needs and challenges. Our team works closely with clients to tailor products like the RVM, SPM, and LSPone to specific requirements. From modifying component materials and dimensions to adapting control interfaces and flow rates, our customization process is thorough and client-focused. This approach ensures that our microfluidic solutions not only meet but exceed the specific demands of diverse applications in research and industry.
Choosing AMF for customized automated liquid handling systems means opting for unparalleled precision, adaptability, and reliability. Our expertise in tailoring systems to specific client needs, combined with our commitment to low internal volume and high performance, makes our solutions ideal for a wide range of applications, from complex research setups to industrial manufacturing processes.
AMF stands out for its unparalleled customization capabilities. We offer tailored solutions for our microfluidic devices, including specific channel diameters, valve designs, and materials. This customization ensures our products meet the exact requirements of our clients’ research or industrial applications, providing a unique advantage in precision and adaptability.
AMF’s SPM and RVM can be easily mounted into structures, offering flexibility for integration into diverse experimental and industrial setups.
AMF’s focus on low internal volume in its microfluidic systems ensures fast fluid switching, minimal reagent waste, and cost-efficiency. This design is crucial for applications requiring quick response times and minimal sample contamination, such as in diagnostic tests and chemical analysis.
AMF’s microfluidic systems are designed with channels as narrow as 0.25 mm, significantly reducing the total volume within the system. This design saves on reagent consumption and costs. Additionally, our unique microvalve design incorporates several port stages, which drastically reduces the internal volume. This allows for fast liquid switching with an ultra-low carryover volume of just 1.5 µl, minimizing the mixing of consecutive liquids and setting our valves apart from others in the market.
At AMF, our microvalves are engineered to exhibit zero dead volume, meaning there is no residual liquid left in the flow path. This is achieved through precise material machining at our in-house facility in Lausanne, Switzerland. The elimination of dead volume is crucial for reducing contamination between liquids, making our valves particularly suitable for sensitive biological applications where even minimal cross-contamination can affect results.
Our commitment to high-quality standards is evident in our manufacturing process, conducted at our facility on the EPFL Innovation Park. We employ highly precise machining techniques, ensuring that each microvalve we produce meets stringent quality criteria. This attention to detail results in microvalves with no dead volume, optimal for demanding protocols in various applications, especially those requiring high sensitivity.
The ultra-low carryover volume of 1.5 µl in AMF’s microfluidic systems offers significant benefits. It ensures minimal mixing of consecutive liquids, crucial for applications where purity and accuracy are paramount. This feature is especially beneficial in high-throughput screening, diagnostics, and research requiring precise fluid handling, as it minimizes reagent waste and enhances the accuracy of experimental results.
To guarantee the consistency and reliability of our microvalves, each unit undergoes a meticulous manual final inspection. This process is part of our commitment to delivering products that consistently meet high-quality standards. By ensuring each valve functions flawlessly with no dead volume and optimal carryover characteristics, we provide our clients with the assurance of reliable and precise performance in their microfluidic applications.
Our products support a variety of communication protocols including I2C, and Serial, allowing for versatile integration and control in various systems and applications. But also on other upon request.
Our products are compatible with multiple communication protocols such as Serial over USB, I2C, RS 485, and RS232. This flexibility ensures easy integration into diverse control systems and workflows.
Our microfluidic valves feature valve plugs made of PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) and UHMW-PE (Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene). PTFE is chemically inert, offering high compatibility with most solvents and excellent stress resistance. UHMW-PE, known for its tough nature, provides the highest impact strength of any thermoplastic currently made, ensuring strong resistance to mechanical movements.
The valve seats in our microfluidic valves are crafted from PCTFE (Polychlorotrifluoroethylene) and PEEK (Polyether Ether Ketone). PCTFE is chosen for its exceptional chemical resistance and durability, ideal for specific, demanding applications. PEEK is selected for its outstanding mechanical and thermal properties, making it highly suitable for challenging microfluidic environments.
PTFE and UHMW-PE offer unique benefits in microfluidics. PTFE’s chemical inertness makes it highly compatible with a wide range of solvents, while its stress resistance is essential for maintaining integrity under varying conditions. UHMW-PE’s exceptional toughness and impact strength ensure the durability and reliability of our devices, particularly in applications involving frequent mechanical movements.
PCTFE and PEEK are ideal for valve seats due to their robust properties. PCTFE provides excellent chemical resistance and durability, making it suitable for applications where chemical compatibility is crucial. PEEK, with its superior mechanical and thermal properties, ensures reliable performance in demanding microfluidic environments, offering longevity and stability.
At AMF, optimal material selection is key. We choose materials like PTFE, UHMW-PE, PCTFE, and PEEK for their specific properties that align with microfluidic requirements. These materials are selected for their chemical inertness, mechanical strength, thermal stability, and durability, ensuring that each component of our microfluidic devices performs exceptionally in various applications.
AMF devices can mix solutions with similar viscosities, such as water-based solutions with varying salt concentrations. The mixing process involves several parameters including ratio, volumes, speed, and time, making it adaptable to different reagents. However, the specific behavior with your reagents can vary based on these factors.
A standard mixing process in our devices takes about 30-40 seconds with 3-4 steps. This efficiency is consistent across various applications, although specific parameters might change depending on your particular needs.
If we use a 500-µL syringe to mix 25 µL from a 250-µL total volume. This creates effective vortexes for mixing. The first 40 µL dispensed may not be perfectly mixed, but the remaining 210 µL will be. We also offer flexible volume options and techniques to optimize mixing, such as using larger syringes for better vortex creation.
Valve switching in our devices is rapid, taking around 400 ms. However, the time may vary slightly depending on the specific ports being used. This quick switching contributes to the efficiency of the mixing process.
Our devices can prepare a new mix within the timeframe of emptying a syringe at a flow rate of ~10 µL/min, fitting well within a 5-minute window for 50 µL dispensing. The cost and delivery time for a mixing unit vary based on your specific volume and mixing needs. We can provide a tailored estimate upon understanding your requirements.
In experiments requiring continuous flow with alternating pumps, we typically use 1/4-28 UNF flat bottom connectors, which is a standard design. This allows for seamless integration with various systems, and adapters can be used for different connector types, such as 10-32 UNF.
AMF takes pride in adhering to the highest standards of quality and safety in our product manufacturing. Our products are RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) and CE (Conformité Européenne) certified, ensuring they meet the European Union’s strict guidelines for health, safety, and environmental protection. RoHS certification signifies that our products are free from specific hazardous materials, while CE certification indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area. Customers interested in reviewing these certifications for assurance of our commitment to quality and safety can request copies of the certificates directly from us.
Our average lead time for delivering AMF products is approximately 4 weeks. However, this timeframe can vary depending on the complexity of the specific product or valve being ordered. For more customized or intricate microfluidic solutions, additional time may be required to ensure that every aspect of the product meets our high standards of quality and precision. We strive to balance swift delivery with the meticulous attention to detail that our products require, ensuring that our clients receive the best possible solutions within a reasonable timeframe.
Innovation is at the heart of AMF’s product development. We consistently integrate the latest microfluidic advancements into our products, ensuring they offer cutting-edge solutions. Our commitment to research and development not only enhances the functionality of our products but also ensures they remain at the forefront of the microfluidics industry.
Precision engineering is a fundamental USP of AMF. Our products are designed with meticulous attention to detail, ensuring high accuracy and consistency in fluid handling. This precision is critical in applications like drug development and diagnostics, where even minute variances can significantly impact outcomes. Our engineering excellence ensures that clients can conduct their experiments and processes with the utmost confidence in the accuracy and reliability of our systems.
AMF is dedicated to advancing the field of microfluidics by providing innovative, customized solutions for automated liquid handling and OEM components. Our mission is to enhance research and industrial applications through precision, reliability, and adaptability. We envision a future where microfluidics plays a pivotal role in scientific discovery and technological advancement.
AMF serves a diverse range of industries including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, environmental science, diagnostics and many more. Our products are designed to meet the unique needs of each sector, providing precision and efficiency in fluid handling and analysis.
Quality and reliability are at the forefront of AMF’s production process. We employ rigorous testing and quality control measures, ensuring that each product meets the highest standards of performance and durability. Our commitment to excellence is reflected in the reliability and longevity of our microfluidic devices.
AMF provides comprehensive support to our clients, including personalized consultations, product customization, and after-sales service. Our team of experts is always available to assist with technical questions, application guidance, and troubleshooting, ensuring our clients get the most out of our products.
AMF contributes to microfluidic innovation through continuous research and development. We collaborate with academic and industry partners to explore new applications and technologies. Our commitment to innovation not only enhances our product offerings but also advances the field of microfluidics as a whole, driving new discoveries and applications.
Microfluidics involves manipulating liquids at a microscale, crucial for precision in fields like biotechnology, medicine, chemistry and many more. This technology enables efficient, accurate handling of small fluid volumes, enhancing experimentation and analysis. Microfluidic devices are increasingly pivotal for example in diagnostics, drug development, or environmental monitoring, offering miniaturization, cost-effectiveness, and enhanced control over chemical reactions.
Microfluidic devices in laboratories offer numerous advantages: minimal sample and reagent requirements, reduced waste, precise control over experimental conditions, and the ability to automate complex protocols. These features lead to cost savings, improved safety, and more reproducible results. Microfluidics also enables high-throughput screening and parallel experimentation, accelerating research and discovery.
Microfluidics revolutionizes medical research and diagnostics through miniaturized labs-on-a-chip. These devices allow for faster, more accurate testing with less sample and reagent use. In diagnostics, microfluidics facilitates point-of-care testing, making medical testing more accessible and efficient. The technology is pivotal in personalized medicine, enabling rapid, on-site diagnosis and tailored treatment strategies.
Microfluidics accelerates drug discovery by enabling high-throughput screening of compounds, rapid prototyping of synthetic routes, and efficient biomarker analysis. Its ability to replicate human physiological conditions on a microscale (e.g., organ-on-a-chip) offers more realistic drug interaction studies. This leads to faster, more cost-effective drug development and a better understanding of drug efficacy and toxicity.
In environmental monitoring, microfluidics offers portable, sensitive, and rapid testing of water and air quality. Its ability to handle small sample volumes with high precision and low detection limits makes it ideal for detecting pollutants and toxins in the environment. This technology is crucial for real-time monitoring, aiding in timely responses to environmental hazards and ensuring public health and safety.
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