Electrorheological Fluid and Its Applications in Microfluidics

  • Limu Wang
  • Xiuqing Gong
  • Weijia WenEmail author
Part of the Topics in Current Chemistry book series (TOPCURRCHEM, volume 304)


Microfluidics is a low-cost technique for fast-diagnosis and microsynthesis. Within a decade it might become the foundation of point-of-care and lab-on-a-chip applications. With microfluidic chips, high-throughput sample screening and information processing are made possible. The picoliter droplet runs in microfluidic chips are ideal miniaturized vessels for microdetection and microsynthesis. Meanwhile, individual manipulation of microdroplets remains a challenge: the shortcomings in automatic, reliable, and scalable methods for logic control prevent further integration of microfluidic applications. The giant electrorheological fluid (GERF), which is a kind of “smart” colloid, has tunable viscosity under the influence of external electric field. Therefore, GERF is introduced as the active controlling medium, with real-time response in on-chip fluid control. This review article introduces the working principles and fabrication methods of different types of electrorheological fluid, and extensively describes the strategies of GERF-assisted microfluidic controlling schemes.


Electrorheological fluid Logic control Microfluidics Microdroplet 



Silver-PDMS composite


Carbon-PDMS composite


Central processing unit


Calcium and titanium precipitate


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Electrorheological fluid


Electrowetting on dielectric


Giant electrorheological fluid




Mobil composition of matter no. 41






Polymerase chain reaction






Poly(methyl metharcylate)


Point of care






Santa Barbara amorphous no.15



This publication is based on work supported by Award No. SA-C0040/UK-C0016, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and Hong Kong RGC grants HKUST 603608.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and KAUST-HKUST Micro/Nano-Fluidics Joint LaboratoryThe Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyKowloonHong Kong

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