How to connect a ChipShop microfluidic chip to your tubing
- 21 May, 2019
ChipShop microfluidic chips have convenient connections for soft-walled / peristaltic (silicone, Tygon...) tubing, through their mini Luer or Luer ports. This tubing is widely used with peristaltic pumps, but also with syringe pumps.
However, the size of this tubing must be chosen carefully to avoid any leakage.
A common issue with these microfluidic chips is the lack of straightforward connection to rigid (PTFE, PEEK...) tubing. We will see the different solutions we can offer to solve it.
Connect a ChipShop chip to soft-walled (silicone, Tygon...) tubing
Example of a Luer connector and its dimensions
Then, always use a tubing large enough to connect it (⩾ 0.5 mm ID), but small enough to create a tight connection (generally ⩽ 1 mm ID). The connection can be seen below:
Connect a ChipShop chip to rigid (PTFE, PEEK...) tubing
There is no direct connection available for rigid tubing, but a few workarounds exist:
- Using a sleeve of soft-walled tubing
As seen above, it is very easy to connect soft-walled / peristaltic tubing to a ChipShop chip for performing your microfluidic experiments. Then, you can use a piece of 2-3 cm of this tube as a sleeve for your rigid tubing.
Connect a ChipShop chip using rigid tubing through a soft-walled tubing sleeve. Courtesy of ChipShop
Tip: Use a soft-walled tubing between 0.5 mm and 1 mm ID for a tight connection to the ChipShop connector. The inner diameter of the soft-walled tubing must also be smaller than the outer diameter (OD) of the rigid tubing.
- Using adapters
The interface between the microfluidic ChipShop chip and your rigid (PTFE, PEEK...) tubing can also be made through adapters. While it is easier with Luer chips than mini Luer chips, you will be able to create a tight connection by following these steps:
First, connect the rigid tubing to a fitting and ferrule. We will take the example of a 1/16" OD PTFE tubing. The fittings and ferrules can be found here.
Tip: The PTFE tubing must be cut straight, and you shouldn't leave extra tubing after the ferrule for optimal connection.
Then, connect this fitting to a Female 1/4"-28 to Luer Adapter.
If the ports of your microfluidic chips are Luer ones, then connect it to the chip directly.
Otherwise for mini Luer microfluidic chips, you should use a mini Luer to Luer adapter, and then the above assembly.
Be careful though, as mini Luer are smaller than Luer ports, you will only be able to use one port ouf of two on your chip (it is not possible to connect two mini Luer to Luer adapters side to side).
Make sure you can still perform your experiments even when using half of the ports of your microfluidic chip.