Liquid Logic: Tiny plumbing networks concoct and compute | Science News

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Liquid Logic: Tiny plumbing networks concoct and compute

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12:10pm, September 25, 2002

Inspired by microelectronics, scientists have been shrinking the cluttered labware used for chemical and biological studies onto tiny fluid-manipulating chips (SN: 8/15/98, p. 104: http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc98/8_15_98/bob1.htm). Now, a team of California researchers has made two such devices that leap ahead of the others in both complexity and controllability.

Studded with thousands of wee hydraulic valves that act as the equivalents of transistors and with minute rubbery pipes that serve as wires, the new chips are extraordinarily versatile for carrying out complicated chemical reactions and analyses, the scientists say. Called microfluidic chips, the devices can also s

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