Freestyle Fluidics

Microfluidic circuits made of liquids

Freestyle Fluidics breaks the rules of traditional microfluidics by radically simplifying the making, operation and integration of microfluidic devices. It is ideally suited to explore cells under precisely controllable, customisable and dynamic flow regimes at the microscale. Liquid microfluidic circuits are extremely stable and can be operated with passive- or active pumping mechanisms.

How it works

Microfluidic circuits made with Freestyle Fluidics are held in place via interfacial tension. Circuits are made much the same way as drawing a pattern on a piece of paper with a pen. After the aqueous liquid pattern has been created, a second immiscible liquid is overlaid. Hence, circuits are now bonded via liquid walls (and not solid ones).

A microfluidic circuit made of liquids

The above image displays a sideview of an exemplary microfluidic circuit on a 60-mm polystyrene dish. This circuit consists of two inlet arms (with a needle inserted into each of them, connected to an external pump), a conduit that harbours cells, and a sink drop that collects flow-through (red and blue dyes above).

Unlimited possibilities

Any imaginable 2D-pattern can rapidly be created for numerous diverse applications in cell biology - e.g., mechanobiology (endothelial shear stress), pulsatile drug treatment of cells, chemotaxis and many more...

Key benefits and features

  • Cost-effective Freestyle Fluidics eliminates costly manufacturing by utilizing common polystyrene- and/or glass-bottom dishes
  • Versatile Any 2D pattern can be made with Freestyle Fluidics on demand
  • Air-bubble free Air-bubbles are detrimental to the operation of almost all microfluidics systems; Freestyle Fluidics is not subject to catastrophic failures since accidentally introduced air-bubbles are simply ejected to the atmosphere
  • Passive pumping Freestyle Fluidics can utilize different mechanisms to move fluids within circuits without requiring connecting active pumps
  • Active pumping For applications requiring long-term flow, users can simply connect active pumps anywhere suitable within the fluidic circuit
  • Accessible Microfluidic circuits made with Freestyle Fluidics are physically accessible anywhere at any time


"We study bacterial biofilms and how cells behave in flow and chemical gradients. The great advantage of the iota system for us is the potential to have, after a microfluidic experiment, direct access to the cells for follow up studies. Conventional walled microfluidic systems are closed and sealed making it very hard to get the cells out after studying them. With iota, therefore, we can develop more powerful protocols to study cells that have been in, and then outside, of the device."