Browse Subject Areas

Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field.

For more information about PLOS Subject Areas, click here.

< Back to Article

MECs: "Building Blocks" for Creating Biological and Chemical Instruments

Fig 1

Overview of designing and building a custom instrument using the Multifluidic Evolutionary Component (MEC) system.

The instrument is designed by arranging MEC symbols on a schematic, then the schematic is used to guide the assembly of MEC “building blocks” into the finished instrument. For many applications involving manipulating fluids on the milliliter scale, the “off the shelf” macroMEC components (like the manual valve shown) are adequate for building complete instruments. For instruments that must manipulate fluids on the microliter or nanoliter scale, microMECs can be arranged into a micro-schematic (like the mixer chip shown), fabricated using conventional microfabrication techniques, packaged in a MEC shell, and plugged into the rest of the instrument.

Fig 1