A multidisciplinary field comprising physics, chemistry, engineering and biotechnology that studies the behavior of fluids at volumes thousands of times smaller than a common droplet. Microfluidic components form the basis of so-called “lab-on-a-chip” devices that can process microliter and nanoliter volumes and conduct highly sensitive analytical measurements. The fabrications techniques used to construct microfluidic devices are relatively inexpensive and are amenable both to highly elaborate, multiplexed devices and also to mass production. In a manner similar to that for microelectronics, microfluidic technologies enable the fabrication of highly integrated devices for performing several different functions on the same substrate chip. Microfluidics is a critical component in gene chip and protein chip development efforts.