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Given the small working area, however, probing samples on the substrate with light can be difficult. To address this issue, Xia Yu and co-workers at the A*STAR Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology have now developed an optical fiber system that is able to deliver light to microfluidic chips with high efficiency.
 
The schematic illustration (right) is of a hollow fiber. The chemiluminescent liquid in the core (yellow) is guided through the fiber, also with help of further hole structures (dark blue).


“Our compact optical fibers are designed for use with high-throughput detection systems,” says Yu. “They are ideal for use in space-restrictive locations.”

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