Microfluidics – pressure & flow control

Proportion-Air is quickly becoming the “go-to” solution provider in low-flow microfluidics applications. Our MPV and QPV electronic pressure regulators can be used to precisely control the pressure to a single microfluidic channel or multiple channels (10+ on single manifold with shared inlet and exhaust). Our MPV and QPV series offer accuracy of ±0.2% and resolution up to ±0.005% of full scale calibration. This allows you to provide stable and repeatable pressure control, which results in stable and repeatable flow through the microfluidic channel.

What is Microfluidics?

Microfluidics, sometimes called “lab-on-a-chip,” is the science of controlling and manipulating very small fluids. These can range in volume from microliters (10-6) to picoliters (10-12). The fluids are accurately controlled through a channel or network of channels that have dimensions from tens to hundreds of micrometers.

What Makes It So Interesting?

Many industrial groups and academic researchers find this technology attractive because it greatly reduces the consumption of samples and reagents. Experiment time can be shortened and multiple tests can be run simultaneously. In short, microfluidics provides more actionable results, much faster.


A microfluidic device is positioned on top of a microscope objective and a camera continuously acquires images from the center of the device cross-slot. The image processing is then used to determine the position of micron-sized particles. The required flow rate for each microfluidic channel can be calculated with an algorithm.

By providing our MPV or QPV an analog command signal, pressure is applied to the fluid, resulting in pressure driven flow. Then the camera records the next image and the process repeats.



Open Hardware Project, A Microfluidic Arduino Controller


Microfluidic Applications and Real-World Consumer Benefits

pressure driven flow for microfluidics

Not just for lab-on-a-chip applications, repeatable pressure and flow control can be achieved with the MPV or QPV in all low-flow dispensing applications. The MPV and QPV are rugged industrial pressure regulators with the smarts to work in the lab. Customer pressure ranges available from 0-2 inches of water column (full scale) to 0-150 PSIG.

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