Microfluidics and Nanofluidics

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 53-79

First online:

Optofluidic integration for microanalysis

  • Hamish C. HuntAffiliated withOptoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton
  • , James S. WilkinsonAffiliated withOptoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton Email author 

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This review describes recent research in the application of optical techniques to microfluidic systems for chemical and biochemical analysis. The “lab-on-a-chip” presents great benefits in terms of reagent and sample consumption, speed, precision, and automation of analysis, and thus cost and ease of use, resulting in rapidly escalating adoption of microfluidic approaches. The use of light for detection of particles and chemical species within these systems is widespread because of the sensitivity and specificity which can be achieved, and optical trapping, manipulation and sorting of particles show significant benefits in terms of discrimination and reconfigurability. Nonetheless, the full integration of optical functions within microfluidic chips is in its infancy, and this review aims to highlight approaches, which may contribute to further miniaturisation and integration.


Lab-on-a-chip Microfluidics Optical detection Optical trapping Integrated optics Optofluidics