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Diagnostics 2013, 3(1), 33-67; doi:10.3390/diagnostics3010033

A Review of Heating and Temperature Control in Microfluidic Systems: Techniques and Applications

1 Gulliver CNRS ESPCI, UMR7083, MMN, 10 rue Vauquelin, 75005 Paris, France 2 SIS2M-LIONS CEA CNRS, UMR 3299, CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 November 2012 / Revised: 19 December 2012 / Accepted: 4 January 2013 / Published: 15 January 2013


This review presents an overview of the different techniques developed over the last decade to regulate the temperature within microfluidic systems. A variety of different approaches has been adopted, from external heating sources to Joule heating, microwaves or the use of lasers to cite just a few examples. The scope of the technical solutions developed to date is impressive and encompasses for instance temperature ramp rates ranging from 0.1 to 2,000 °C/s leading to homogeneous temperatures from −3 °C to 120 °C, and constant gradients from 6 to 40 °C/mm with a fair degree of accuracy. We also examine some recent strategies developed for applications such as digital microfluidics, where integration of a heating source to generate a temperature gradient offers control of a key parameter, without necessarily requiring great accuracy. Conversely, Temperature Gradient Focusing requires high accuracy in order to control both the concentration and separation of charged species. In addition, the Polymerase Chain Reaction requires both accuracy (homogeneous temperature) and integration to carry out demanding heating cycles. The spectrum of applications requiring temperature regulation is growing rapidly with increasingly important implications for the physical, chemical and biotechnological sectors, depending on the relevant heating technique.
Keywords: heating; temperature; microfluidics heating; temperature; microfluidics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Miralles, V.; Huerre, A.; Malloggi, F.; Jullien, M.-C. A Review of Heating and Temperature Control in Microfluidic Systems: Techniques and Applications. Diagnostics 2013, 3, 33-67.

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